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askdls;;jsfasdl : D 0.23636363636364 23.6% [ 13 ]
I'M ON THE MOON. 0.30909090909091 30.9% [ 17 ]
No, you're not. 0.16363636363636 16.4% [ 9 ]
Yes, I am! D: 0.29090909090909 29.1% [ 16 ]
Total Votes:[ 55 ]
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Plane Between Planes's avatar

Star Seeker

15,050 Points
  • Inquisitor 200
  • Love Machine 150
  • Hive Mind 200
User Imagexxxxxxx

x 君 の 手 を 握 り し め x ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
↓ ↓ ↓ xx T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x ▾ ▿ ▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ xxxx
▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ I'D LIKE TO SEE FOR HOW LONG I CAN STOP TIME LIKE THIS ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxx
▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x xxxxx
x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x xxxxxx
▪▪ x 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 xx ⋮⋮ xx 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 x ▪▪xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬x ↱↱ A TRANQUIL MEMORY FROM BEFORE BEING BORN x▬ ▬ xxx


                              The first time Sion returned to the site of their completed hunting adventure, carrying an assortment of sticks and twigs in his arms, Ryner was nowhere in sight. It didn't take much to figure out where he'd gone, and the silver-haired male sighed to himself. Really, it should have been anyone's guess that he'd retrieve the other's shirt for him eventually, since he was going to be walking around in the forest to begin with. But, he supposed, Ryner could only be Ryner, and his sense of priority or logic wouldn't work in the same manner as those of most people. Rather than be concerned in the slightest, he smiled softly to himself and, after dropping the spoils of his first trip, he disappeared back among the trees, this time walking along the riverside and set on finding rocks of a particular, similar size. This task took longer than the first, as Sion found himself wandering quite far in his search, with nothing but the humming of birds and the muffled cries of a few insects to keep him company. Aside from, at times, his own reflection as he briefly passed close to the water here and there. He looked pretty messy, so at some point he stopped for a bit, carefully smoothing his clothes, dusting off patches of dirt -- with a bit of water where they wouldn't come off -- and shaking away stray leaves and twigs. There was nothing he could do about the small tears in the fabric, but even with only just what he'd been able to fix, it already looked far better and less pathetic. At last, he ran his hand through his hair, smoothing whatever mess was still left in it after Ryner had already taken care of it for the most part just earlier.

                              In the end, when he looked at the water again as he took time to drink some, he felt a lot better.

                              After that, things progressed a little faster, as he took time to carefully pick some rocks out of the river itself instead of looking for them on shore. He carried a good number of them at once, nestling them against his chest, fixed in place with one arm. It was messier this way, but faster, and it only took two trips as opposed to something like seven to carry the amount that he needed. In-between at some point, Ryner had appeared again, and Sion did take note of the fact, but his friend was distracted in the process of trying to obtain meat they could cook, so he didn't seem to notice that Sion had been around. It didn't appear as if he was noticed even when he finally settled down next to the spot where he'd dropped everything he'd carried in until then -- somewhere in the middle of the open space, where it would be perfectly safe to make a fire -- and started to carefully build a circle with the rocks. Ryner was busy cleaning and redressing himself, it seemed, and Sion idly watched with the bit of attention he could spare from his own work, observing as the other's bared back disappeared from his sight to be finally covered by clothing once more. It was, for some reason, rather amusing to see -- maybe mostly because Ryner was by all semblances completely unaware that Sion was there.

                              The feeling of closeness that they'd shared with each other hadn't ended at all, even though the embrace they'd been in was now gone. When he watched Ryner, Sion felt somehow at peace -- at least over the unsettled, strong emotions that he knew he was burying somewhere deep in the back of his head, as now wasn't the time for them. There was nobody else here; only the two of them and the forest, the river, the pleasant fresh air and semi-quiet ambiance. He didn't really have to worry about a thing for a while. And somehow, he felt that the other was probably happy as well -- as happy as he was, just calmly and naturally like this. All over the fact that they'd been able to act in that certain way with each other. In the end, probably just being open was better.

                              As he carefully finished arranging the sticks in an orderly pile -- quite low in height for practical purposes that would become apparent in a while -- Sion fully lifted his gaze to see what the other was doing. It seemed that, after taking care of himself, Ryner was now preoccupied with the dagger that Sion had given him to do what he needed. He turned it around in his hands for a while, studying it very attentively before finally slipping it into the waters and starting to wipe off the blood from the deer. When it happened, there weren't that many signs of it -- just a small flinch and something mumbled from Ryner that Sion really couldn't hear well at all from this distance. And yet, somehow, for a strange reason he himself couldn't quite explain, he knew that the oddly ironic what-are-the-odds of Ryner actually injuring himself with the small, elegant blade really had happened.

                              Yes. Ryner had just accidentally cut himself...

                              With the dagger that was going to---

                              That clear concept ran very firmly through Sion's mind. He knew it then, more clearly than ever -- he understood just what he was going to do. He'd already set himself a fixed time for it, at the end of this day or something of the sort. Right now, with that sort of gentle feelings from a soft, perfectly natural moment between them still lingering in his very real and recent memory, he really wouldn't be able to do it. But by then, with that sort of exact time given to himself, Sion would be ready. He would be the one to save Ryner, because there was really nobody else. He was the only one who knew exactly what Ryner needed to be protected from, and who was going to help him. And probably, right now, the best thing he could do for him was make sure that soft happiness stayed. Or maybe this wasn't really for Ryner; maybe it was just a selfish wish in the end. But, right then, Sion felt like he should give as much as he could to the other -- of everything he could find, and ultimately maybe even of himself. He should keep Ryner close and watch over him, and not let him worry at all about a single thing.

                              That's right...

                              Slowly, Sion stood up from his spot, abandoning the circle of stones that surrounded an intricate structure of sticks without lighting the fire just yet. Instead, as silently as he could so as not to disturb the other with his movements, he stepped slowly closer. It was really too priceless a sight -- calm, relaxed, maybe a little contemplative, beautiful Ryner. Stunning, and so very sad. Even though he couldn't be allowed to know so just yet.

                              "Who are you thinking of?" Sion asked playfully as he came finally closer. Why did it have to be someone no matter what, and not just some thing or another? It was somehow far more intriguing that way. Almost as if they were playing a game yet again, and the king was confident enough to somehow be convinced at the time that it had been him, or something like that. Stepping lightly into the water, the silver-haired male didn't give the other any time to really react and just crouched in front of him too, hand already moving to grab Ryner's wrist. The wrist of his free hand, the one that still had a finger absently rested between the male's lips. Tugging it softly, without a bit of restraint... There it was, right now -- that strong boyish charm Sion had, the kind of thing that had so easily won the hearts of so many girls, and even so many women, as they looked upon the elegant and so very distant and unreachable Hero King. But he wasn't distant and unreachable for Ryner at all. With only the barest of soft, knowing smirks, and with a security in his every move that couldn't be shaken off or distracted, he pulled the other's hand to himself, turning it slightly so that he could look at the finger in question. Yes, that was it yet again. Bold, rather shameless and unbelievably confident, devil Sion that only Ryner really got to see on somewhat of a regular basis. "Let me see."

                              But it was almost like that wasn't really what he wanted to say. With that sort of bold attitude...

                              Would you like me to do that for you instead?

                              It could have really been something more along those lines instead, as very subtly during his examination, the tip of Ryner's fingertip really did come nonchalantly close to Sion's own lips.

                              The silver-haired male's eyes never left those of his friend, gold locked with brown even over that hand that he was carefully scouring. There was, indeed, a very tiny visible cut on the tip of the other's finger, but it was definitely nothing to worry about. And yet, even for such a minor thing, and even despite the endless tease that he was performing on Ryner, there was an interminable sense of gentleness about Sion. His hold on the other's wrist softened even further and what he actually did was lift his own other hand and gently brush a couple of fingertips over the small, fresh cut, so lightly that they'd barely be felt. It looked like almost a joke, since the injuries Sion himself had on that particular hand really shadowed that one entirely, but he didn't seem to be paying attention to that. There was only some sort of affection in his every move -- maybe something akin to a parent looking out for a child? ...No, that was different as well. The same nuance of something precious that needed to be protected and cared for was there, but to Sion, Ryner was not a child. Ryner was...

                              "Sorry. Ryner," he said with a really soft smile. "I've really put you through a lot of trouble this time." Over that sort of closeness that still lingered so vividly between them, Sion sounded truly genuine. That quiet voice, the tiny curl of his lips, his eyes that flicked peacefully from Ryner's finger back to his face... Everything about him was open, it seemed. Just for the other to see. "I'll make it up to you. I really overslept last night, so if we cover a good distance today, I'll really let you sleep all night." He chuckled, visibly amused, and that move somehow made him slip even closer to the other as he lowered his head, almost to the point where his forehead was rested against Ryner's chin. "Really, I rested more than I usually do in a week, I'm pretty sure. I'll have no trouble staying awake this time."

                              With that lighthearted joke, Sion moved, letting go of Ryner's hand at last and starting to pull himself up. Very lightly and casually as he did so, almost as an afterthought, he slipped the dagger from the other's possession, taking it back.

                              That object he needed.

                              That's right. He was going to let Ryner rest.

                              With one last tiny look of amusement down at the other, Sion headed back for the unfinished work he had left, hand already lightly tracing the magic circle for the spell that he needed in the air.

                              ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰


                              "Wah. It's really pretty terrible."

                              That was Sion's conclusion about the meat they'd somehow managed to cook over the fire that currently still burned low nearby -- the first thing he said after somehow managing to swallow the rough bite he'd taken from it. Really, it was tough and difficult to really chew, and it had pretty much no taste at all. This was a far cry from the perfectly seasoned, thoroughly prepared and flawlessly cooked sort of thing he usually ate (when he remembered) -- it didn't even come close to an actual meal any normal person would eat at all. It was just meat, impaled inelegantly on a stick and more or less fried over a fire as best as they could. It should have been obvious that it would hardly constitute a feast at all.

                              "Ahaha... It's really awfully bad," he continued, and yet that didn't stop him from taking another bite and facing the same difficulty trying to chew. He swallowed hard yet again, and there was really the distinct feeling of something rolling down like a rock all the way to his stomach. Yet all he did was chuckle again. "I guess I don't mind, though. I didn't even realize I was this hungry."

                              Taking his time, glancing at Ryner every now and then as if the two of them were sharing an inside joke that they knew nobody else was ever going to understand after not being here for it, he continued to eat. Despite being silent, it was really obvious and easy to tell that Sion felt happy right then -- and also immensely relaxed. As he'd sat down earlier, he'd slipped casually pretty close to the other, as if he felt far more comfortable there, next to Ryner, more rather than across the fire or something like that. His other hand was placed lightly behind him, on the ground, supporting a small part of his weight as he leaned back only a little. Sion's chin was turned up and he half-watched the sky as he ate, a small permanent smile playing at the corners of his lips. It wouldn't have been an exaggeration to say that part of him almost seemed to want to stay -- right where he was, right in this forest and exactly in that very spot that he occupied at the moment. How close he was to the other, as well, was perfectly natural. There was nothing awkward or odd in Sion's stance about having chosen to be around Ryner like that. They probably really did look like two friends who were just sharing a peaceful, quiet time with each other. As he finished eating at last, Sion placed down the stick, and stayed like that for a while more, just enjoying the soft breeze that brushed past his cheeks and caught in his hair, carrying the leftover heat from the slowly dying fire.

                              Finally, at some point when he seemed to remember, he very softly turned his head to look at his friend.

                              "We should probably follow the river," he said, tilting his head as he mused. "It's practical, since we need it, and... Well, it's bound to lead out of the forest and to a town of some sort in the end."

                              Which, judging by the direction he'd managed to calculate after observing where the sun had been earlier and where it was now, would be somewhere in Estabul. Quite far off from where they needed to go, since it was hardly the exact same direction, but it was really safer -- and probably ultimately faster -- this way than trudging through the forest in a random direction and leaving a perfect source of the number one thing they needed -- water. As he pulled himself to his feet, Sion dusted his clothes before stretching a little, a couple of bones giving light cracks. He made sure the other was done eating, turning to him for a couple of seconds as he seemed still deeply in thought. Finally, he just gave a small, casual smile.

                              "I won't stop walking on my own, so you'll just have to tell me when you want to," he said, tone friendly and almost a tiny bit playful again. Even as he continued with a forewarning, almost scolding the other preventively. "But, Ryner, if it's not dark by then and we haven't gone far enough, I won't stop anyway. Oh, and I'll walk longer than I normally would, too, because you tried to slack off." After a moment of silence, he started to laugh -- a clear, healthy sound that seemed to fill the calm air just perfectly. "You'd better choose carefully, you know."

                              And with that last, perfect smirk tossed over his shoulder at his friend, Sion started to walk, carefully picking out a safe path between the trees and the edge of the quickly growing stream. They really did have a long way to walk from now until evening -- still solid hours left, with almost no pause. As he fell into a comfortable pace that he could keep constant in order to cover good distance, he glanced at the water again. It would be a lot of time, indeed.

                              Enough time to come properly to terms.


♔ ♔ ♔ -------------------- xx ↴ ↴ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S 哀しみのない世界 ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ x
✭ ✭ ✭ xxxx x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ AS I LIE GENTLY THAT IT SOMEHOW EXISTS xxxxxxxxxx
▱ ▱ ▱ 君が気付かないように xx ﹙﹙ x I N x S U C H x A x W A Y x Y O U x W O N ' T x N O T I C E x ﹚﹚ xx ▱ ▱ ▱ 包んであげたい 僕が盾になる xx ﹙﹙ x I x W A N T x T O x E N V E L O P x Y O U x ﹚﹚ xxxxxxxx
▭ ▭ ▭ x x I'LL BE YOUR SHIELD x x x ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxxxxxxxxxxx
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Plane Between Planes's avatar

Star Seeker

15,050 Points
  • Inquisitor 200
  • Love Machine 150
  • Hive Mind 200
User Imagexxxxxxx

x 君 の 手 を 握 り し め x ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
↓ ↓ ↓ xx T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x ▾ ▿ ▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ xxxx
▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ I'D LIKE TO SEE FOR HOW LONG I CAN STOP TIME LIKE THIS ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxx
▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x xxxxx
x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x xxxxxx
▪▪ x 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 xx ⋮⋮ xx 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 x ▪▪xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬x ↱↱ A TRANQUIL MEMORY FROM BEFORE BEING BORN x▬ ▬ xxx


                              He didn't know at which point exactly as they walked on, trading only casual lines here and there, but eventually as he walked steadily onward Sion became conscious of the fact that Ryner was looking at him. It reminded him somehow of the way he himself had stopped to look back at his friend a while earlier, when he left to gather wood for the fire. That moment of hesitation in which he'd almost not wanted to leave Ryner's side. The silver-haired male had no idea why exactly he'd made that comparison, but he found himself stepping just a bit closer by instinct, adjusting his pace just a little more carefully, so that he'd be with his friend. Just in case that was really how the other felt, too. However, the question Ryner ended up asking had really been pretty sudden, and Sion couldn't say he expected that topic of conversation at all. His head turned a little, curious eyes flicking to the other male's face and studying it for a moment. It seemed pretty casual, but still... For one thing, there was the automatic assumption that the dagger had to be precious to Sion because of the person who gave it to him -- which was quite wrong. And then also that the person in question had to be a woman for sure?

                              It was a little bit funny, in all honesty, and Sion found himself easily letting that show on his face as he completely muffled a laugh.

                              Although on the other hand, part of what Ryner was saying was perfectly true. Sion had always been a pretty popular guy wherever people were gathered for a period of time. At the academy they attended together, for example, where Ryner slept his days off and only had Kiefer hanging on to him because she had managed to somehow see what sort of person he really was... Sion, the top student for their year, was at the completely opposite end of the line. He had, indeed, received a lot of confessions, from various different girls. Maybe it was a bit wrong of him to feel just a little proud of that, but... That's how it was. And really, being completely honest about it, he couldn't say he'd never been interested in the slightest. Some of those girls were actually cute, and pretty attractive, and they seemed like they'd have made pleasant company too. It was just that... Sion had more important things to do. Back then, he had already set his sights upon the still extremely distant throne of Roland, after all. He was gathering companions for that, so there was no time to busy himself with stuff like having a girlfriend. Not to mention that any girl by his side would be placed in danger, for sure. So he'd always, without fail, politely declined. And now, that he was king, it had gotten somehow even worse. There was indeed the idea that he had to find a queen and give his country an heir, and all sorts of things like that, but... This time, Sion didn't even like the sort of women he was surrounded by anymore. The kind who looked at him first because he was king, seeing him as an entity of some sort and barely at all as a person. And he wasn't his father, who had no qualms with sleeping around all over the place. With the sort of pathetic motivations these women held, by falling into the game of such a corrupted, detestable kind of society, there was no way they would even come close to getting through to him. Even those rare exceptions who weren't like that really couldn't.

                              Not the way Ryner could. Was that a normal thought to have at a time like this? Not the way Ryner could. And he just had. Because, if even only a little, Sion felt just a bit flustered right then, rather taken aback by one particular thing out of all that the other had said. That he was attractive -- not only now, but also had been in general. Of course, Sion himself knew that he was; after all, how many times had he used that fact in his favor? How many times had he consciously tried to charm someone else to join his side or his cause? Not only girls, but friends and other people as well. In general, he knew that he held a sway over others, and he'd always made use of that talent. But to hear this sort of thing from Ryner... Ryner, the only person who had been unaffected right from the start -- who hadn't looked upon him with admiring or even slightly impressed eyes at all. It made him just a little bit happy; and not only that. Unlike the millions of compliments -- that's what the comment was, even unknowingly, right? -- which had brushed past him so far without affecting him in the slightest, this made Sion just a little self-conscious. Even if Ryner had to ruin it right after with a jab like that, the fact that he'd said it remained.

                              He realized he'd been silent only a little too long when the other repeated his question, and he instantly scolded himself for showing such a defenseless side, made suddenly so easy to reach by the other.

                              "Oh, I guess you caught me," he said with a nonchalant shrug, tone very matter-of-fact. "It's really a gift from a former lover." Although it was obviously only a joke, just Sion playing along with the other and making this somewhat of a game -- and maybe getting back at him for that little comment he made at the end. Just a little, those sharp, extremely clever and confident golden eyes scoured Ryner's face as a tiny, really amused, teasing smile made its way to Sion's lips. "It couldn't be that you're envious, Ryner, could it? You probably don't get things like these."

                              Envious. Not jealous even if that was quite obviously what Sion had really asked right then, with that sort of annoyingly presumptuous voice. The truth was, he himself had maybe not dared to be quite that bold. Even though somehow he was extremely curious as well. Would Ryner really... actually get jealous over something like that? Over Sion? Although at the same time the silver-haired male felt guilty. If that were the slightest bit honestly true, then he really shouldn't be responding like this, even as a joke. So the next thing he did was smile softly, all traces of wanting to mess with the other gone from his face, as well as his voice. He gave a light, honest laugh, brushing off the whole fake thing from earlier.

                              "Ahaha... sorry," he finally earnestly said. "The truth is I've had it for a while. Even when we were in the academy, I was carrying this around. There were lots of dangerous guys I had to watch out for, after all. You should know." Since Ryner had gotten accidentally caught up in one of the worst of those incidents, as he was found together with Sion when a group of assassins attacked. "So it's precious to me because it's a little nostalgic. It's the same one I used when you and Kiefer were taken... ah, I guess you don't know."

                              Chuckling a little again, Sion seemed to fall deeply into a state of contemplation as he walked a bit more slowly than before, recalling scenes from pretty far back in his past -- even though they were burned so well into his memory they might have happened yesterday and not a bit over two years ago. The deaths of their friends from the academy... and then the Roland reinforcements which had arrived way too late, missing the awakening of Ryner's Alpha Stigma and the massacre that followed. The whole situation that had somehow been credited to Sion -- and he'd become somewhat of a hero for surviving and keeping two others with him even with that sort of impossible odds. A fake hero, indeed. Nothing but a misconception. All Sion had really done right then -- all he had maybe actually saved -- had been Ryner himself, by closing his eyes. Nothing else. That wasn't a victory where he'd protected a single thing -- that was a defeat where Sion had lost all he had. It was rather bitter that he'd been credited with it and it had been ultimately what started to elevate his status and facilitate his final goal. But he'd accepted it -- he had long since accepted that if he wanted to be the king of Roland, he'd have to make use of whatever he got, whatever was practical. Not prioritize weird concepts and abstract ideas, nor his own feelings about how things should be seen.

                              The dagger, however... really was rather nostalgic.

                              It was the weapon he'd had up his sleeve back then -- the one he'd used to attack Rahel Miller as Ryner and Kiefer were being taken away. That's right. The two had never known that Sion was stupid enough to attempt such a thing for their sake. That he was disarmed in one single move by a professional who hadn't even broken a sweat over his pathetic attack, and he would have been killed there as he desperately just tried to save his companions, the only thing on his mind being getting them back... If major Miller hadn't, for some reason, taken a liking to him. To his attitude. To the determination with which he fought for the things he wanted or believed in, or something like that. If Miller hadn't let Sion go -- only to get to work under him as Sion became king, the way he was now. ...Indeed, with this weapon, Sion had tried to save Ryner before. And he was going to try it again. That's why it was really so precious to him.

                              For a short moment, a bit of an odd look crossed his face, as he noticed that, lightly, his hand had gone to rest over the front of his coat, where the dagger was once again peacefully nestled and hidden.

                              "I guess... in the end, that's how it is." That sort of quiet, contemplative voice wasn't anything like what Sion was using only moments before. "It leads to you."

                              It went back to Ryner.

                              "Everything... somehow..."

                              Had Sion just almost made a confession of sorts? With that sort of half-murmured, soft comment, he lowered his hand from his side and firmly turned back to their path, lifting his head once more to gaze straight ahead. Suddenly, he didn't know what had possessed him to say something like that anymore. He had definitely been thinking it, but that had been the case with many things before. Not everything that crossed people's minds was supposed to be spoken out thoughtlessly like that. Now, as he was glancing away from his friend and becoming more and more conscious of it, Sion shifted a little uncomfortably. Ahh, he really had said a little too much. For sure. There was really an odd sort of unrest in his stomach right now, and his face felt just a tiny bit hot the more he thought about it, so he pointedly headed away. It was obvious, for all means and purposes, that he wasn't going to say anything else on the matter. That Ryner could draw whatever conclusions he wanted, Sion was done for the time being. Slowly falling back into a normal pace for walking, he continued on in silence, without even the casual comments they had been trading before from time to time. His eyes were trained on picking out a path -- fully and stubbornly -- and he avoided the slightest contact with Ryner completely ...And yet, the presence of the other behind him never vanished from his mind. He never hurried away from the other male, nor did he try to block out the fact that they were here together.

                              He was keeping Ryner close.

                              ...He really was. He'd been doing it all along. And not just since earlier, not even since morning or since last night when he'd fallen asleep over him. No, Sion had been trying to do this even since before this whole trip had started at all. When he decided that it was going to be just Ryner and himself, with no Ferris, and nobody else at all... That's how it was. It had seemed like a mere personal wish back then, based on some vague selfish feeling of wanting some time with Ryner -- and on the maybe less selfish need to somehow clear things up between the two of them and make it up to his friend for the grave injustice he'd committed against him. All along, he had wanted the other by his side, as closely by his side as he was now. Or even more so, perhaps? There was no end to the depth of just how much Sion had wished for that, almost as if having seen the other slip away from him once, so easily, so suddenly, with himself unable to do a single thing to prevent it... He was really scared. Afraid that it might happen again, and Ryner could leave him, and this time never return. Ah... That's right. Someone else had said that too. That Sion was afraid of Ryner leaving his side. That he almost made mistakes because of that one single fear. It was true, after all. Now, more than ever, he himself was realizing how truly terrified he was, indeed, that the other might turn his back on him forever. Even though such a course was probably unavoidable -- and even if Sion himself would have probably allowed it to happen, as much as it hurt, if it was the only way to continue forward on the path that he'd chosen.

                              What was he feeling, exactly...? It was as if he'd lost track of himself.

                              But maybe... just maybe... What if...? It was almost crazy to think of, but what if all along he had already made his decision of what to do? What if, at the moment he'd decided to go on this trip, and drag Ryner along by force like this, he had already known what he really planned on doing? Just not as clearly as he knew it now. The thought was so unbelievable that it made the world almost race around Sion in a mad spin if he really let it take roots in his mind. Because it made sense. He had wanted Ryner close to him, as close as possible, with only the two of them. He had wanted to settle the matter of how he felt... Because everything was ending. Because he was the only one who knew this was the last chance he was going to get for all that.

                              No.

                              Sion denied it. He rejected the truth of the idea with as strong of an inner voice as he could... and the more he did it, the more he found himself trapped in a corner and forced to accept it. He couldn't escape. There was no running away. This time that he had with Ryner right now, this precious sort of existence, was going to come to an end. Even if Sion walked faster, with some stupid impression that if he did so time might slow down. That walking faster, and covering more distance, meant he'd get to do more things with Ryner, and be together with him for a longer while than if he slowly let the moments drift by in a peaceful wait. The seconds ticked past, and turned into minutes, and minutes turned into heavy hours... and this was bad. This was really bad. A sense of pressure grew urgently within him as he was really no readier now to do what he had to than he'd been earlier, when he'd told himself there was still time to prepare. If things went on like this... The time he'd settled upon would come, and his heart would just continue to beat faster in his chest, like this and...

                              ...hurt.

                              So unbelievably much that he felt as if, had he stopped right then, he might start to shake. Or he might fall to his knees and lose even the last shreds of the determination he'd only thought he had, when in fact there was nothing there but hesitation.

                              And that was rather ironic. Because as tense as he was, there was no way Sion could continue to walk for much longer. How much time had passed like this, anyway? A lot, probably, as a quick look at the trees showed him a decidedly darker air than they'd had at around noon when they started, and remnants of sunlight through the leaves that were less brilliant in color and more reminiscent of the embers of the fire they'd left behind. About sunset... was it? It wasn't really dark yet, but Sion gave up the first time he stumbled on a small elevation of ground, from probably the root of the tree he lightly let himself fall against. Stopped there like that, he was quiet, and very conscious of Ryner's presence as his companion. As conscious as he'd been all along, and trying desperately to convey the same message he'd been since earlier, from his tense shoulders as he kept his back pointedly turned on his friend. The whole way there, Sion had only had the one thought that surfaced loudly over his others.

                              Ryner.

                              Don't ask.

                              "Ahh..." he sighed loudly as he let himself slump to the ground, turning to let his back rest against the tree and finally facing the other. "I'm really out of shape... I'm exhausted."

                              Thankfully, his body was helping him. His knees felt weak and he sat there limply, shoulders full of a dull pain -- that unfortunately didn't quite eclipse the vague, fluctuating one in the back of his chest, far more deeply rooted than any of his physical injuries could be. His breath was just a tiny bit accelerated from walking so fast for such a long period of time, almost as if he'd forgotten himself. Sion's lips stayed half-parted as he tried to steady himself -- and looking every single bit the part of a person who'd come to the end of his strength wasn't difficult at all right then, because that was exactly the way he felt. Alone, however, his eyes fixed themselves sharply on his friend's face and continued to subtly convey that same silent message. Don't ask. Even though Ryner shouldn't even have anything to ask in the first place. He knew nothing at all, right? There was no way he could tell what was going on in Sion's mind, or his heart. ...Or was there? Right now, Ryner was unbelievably close to him. There was no way Sion was able to hide that perfectly from someone he so weakly allowed this close. No, someone he had wanted this close, and had so counter-productively brought there himself.

                              Slowly, even those eyes drifted closed, and everything about Sion was quiet as he continued to rest in his spot.

                              "I guess you're getting off easy after all, Ryner," he weakly tried a joke, laughing a little. "We'll have to stop here."

                              Because Sion had no strength left anymore. He couldn't keep fighting. Couldn't keep running away from his own feelings and thoughts. Not from these particular ones, at least. It may have really looked like he'd overworked his body right then, but that wasn't it. However injured and sore and tired he really was, that still wasn't it. What he'd really overworked was his mind -- or was it maybe his heart? A mix of impressions washed over him, from an immense fondness towards the presence of the other around him, which he still couldn't let go of as he vividly sensed it, to some sort of fear, a growing panic that threatened to grip him. Before that happened, and before he couldn't act anymore, he had to gather himself. He had something to do.

                              Slowly, Sion started to count to ten in his head. Only ten more seconds, and then he'd go back to everything, carefully planning every moment of the short time he had left to work with. He wouldn't waste any of it, he promised himself. He owed that much to Ryner. ...Ryner who, in his absolute, sad lack of awareness, might be misinterpreting what this was about even now. Was the other maybe thinking it had something to do with Sion's feelings for him? ...Yes. That was definitely part of it, but...

                              Not all. Hardly all.


♔ ♔ ♔ -------------------- xx ↴ ↴ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S 哀しみのない世界 ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ x
✭ ✭ ✭ xxxx x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ AS I LIE GENTLY THAT IT SOMEHOW EXISTS xxxxxxxxxx
▱ ▱ ▱ 君が気付かないように xx ﹙﹙ x I N x S U C H x A x W A Y x Y O U x W O N ' T x N O T I C E x ﹚﹚ xx ▱ ▱ ▱ 包んであげたい 僕が盾になる xx ﹙﹙ x I x W A N T x T O x E N V E L O P x Y O U x ﹚﹚ xxxxxxxx
▭ ▭ ▭ x x I'LL BE YOUR SHIELD x x x ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxxxxxxxxxxx
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Plane Between Planes's avatar

Star Seeker

15,050 Points
  • Inquisitor 200
  • Love Machine 150
  • Hive Mind 200
User Imagexxxxxxx

x 君 の 手 を 握 り し め x ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
↓ ↓ ↓ xx T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x ▾ ▿ ▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ xxxx
▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ I'D LIKE TO SEE FOR HOW LONG I CAN STOP TIME LIKE THIS ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxx
▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x xxxxx
x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x xxxxxx
▪▪ x 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 xx ⋮⋮ xx 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 x ▪▪xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬x ↱↱ A TRANQUIL MEMORY FROM BEFORE BEING BORN x▬ ▬ xxx


                              ...two... three...

                              At some point in the middle of that barely begun intention to count up to ten, Ryner had moved, and even with closed eyes Sion was perfectly conscious of when his friend slipped softly seated next to him, just like that. He didn't oppose it. He didn't move in the slightest even though the row of his numbers was broken and he could no longer return to continue as he'd intended. He didn't need to either. That barest touch as Ryner's arm almost rested against his own, with the two of them nearly leaning closer to each other by instinct, did better in calming him than the mechanical, self-imposed process had, anyway. It wasn't his own efforts, but that small warmth that truly awoke Sion from the state of panic he had almost slipped into completely. Ironic. It was all too ironic. Ryner had so efficiently helped him with steadying himself for a decision in which it was also Ryner that Sion wavered about. His mind almost couldn't grasp the idea that well. His hand briefly twitched by his side, as if for a second it thought to reach out to the other; it was so close to Ryner's hand after all -- it could have easily reached it and held it, just naturally like that.

                              But in the end Sion didn't move. Only his eyes slowly drifted open at last, to stay quietly and so very softly fixed on the ground, with an unnatural calm. Almost as if he just waited, instantly feeling at peace because the other was there.

                              Ryner.

                              His friend was all over Sion's mind, covering all his thoughts, capturing his every emotion or impulse. It was all he could think of. Even now, he was relying on Ryner. Even now, when things were so close to the end, and when it was completely unfair to rely on the other for such a thing, Sion was terribly weak. There was nothing he could do to help himself that worked half as well as having Ryner with him. Next to him. There for him.

                              Close.

                              As if answering to that need, slowly, Ryner started to speak. It was idle chatter at first, about the place they were in... about getting to rest. That's right, Sion was really exhausted. At this point, he probably didn't even care if their attackers -- his attackers -- were still out there at all. As stupid as he knew perfectly well that it was, they had really slipped his mind. And yet, he really couldn't do as his friend said. For a moment, his thoughts drifted to the vague impressions he still had of the other night, of the other's arms wrapped securely around him as his face was hidden so perfectly in Ryner's neck. It had definitely... no doubts about it, been the most comfortable place Sion had ever been in. It was really no wonder that he'd so peacefully slept. If he could have really done that again, he probably would, wouldn't he? But maybe the reason he'd actually allowed himself such a thing to begin with had been that he knew it was the last chance. He wasn't going to be able to do that at all anymore. So he only burned the memory even more carefully into his mind, letting it remember as surely as his body still did. And then, as he resigned himself to just that, those words were spoken at him.

                              I missed you.

                              Sion knew instantly what Ryner was talking about. What those perfectly honest, flawless words spoken so quietly were trying to say. It was, after all, what he had felt back then too. An endless longing that sprang from his fear of being without the other, of maybe never seeing him again. Before he was far enough that such a thing could happen for real, Sion had wanted to go after him. Run faster than he ever had to catch up with Ryner and stop him, and do whatever it took to convince him to stay. Even throw everything away right there if he had to. But, of course, he couldn't do such a thing. The King of Roland couldn't do that, couldn't abandon his duties even for a second, no matter what feelings Sion may have held. And those two were one person. If the king couldn't do it, then Sion couldn't. Even though, if Sion had those feelings, the king had them as well. They really weren't separate people. No matter how much people might have seen only one or the other, the truth was that Sion was king. He didn't have the freedom, like Ferris, to listen to only his feelings and go right away, chase after the other even to the end of the world if he had to, just to bring him back. Maybe that was why Sion had been so sure at the time that he'd lost Ryner for good. Because, even though he may have actually known that the other was probably going to come back in the end -- because he knew Ryner, and how soft his heart truly was -- it wouldn't have been Sion that had him return. It would have been Ferris, who could really go after him. But now... It seemed as if either Ryner had finally understood all of that -- had realized that, as much as he could, even though it was so very little, Sion might have already left after him even before Ferris did -- or Sion had been wrong all along. Maybe he'd never lost Ryner at all. Maybe he'd still been why the other truly came back.

                              Or perhaps both things were there at once.

                              "I see," he said simply, quietly, with the softest of smiles. He didn't really know if his own face was sad, or relieved, or apologetic, or just disarmed and open. But that barest of replies actually said it better than if Sion had chosen anything else to respond with. It said that he understood. It said that he wanted to hear this. It said that he was accepting these words without question, and keeping them -- because he wanted them.

                              But even if he understood already, Ryner didn't seem to want to stop. It seemed like he really wanted to say it all, by himself, clearly and securely, leaving no more room for interpretation and questions. As if he was settling everything right then and there for the both of them. Yes, if Ryner said this... it could all really end. There'd be nothing left afterwards, and Sion could finally... That's why, he was also rather afraid of the words. even while he wanted to hear them from the bottom of his heart, even while they made him this happy somehow. They also brought the end even closer, as Ryner definitely wouldn't stop until he was done. He wouldn't stop, wouldn't hesitate, because he didn't know. All Sion could do was turn his head, softly so as not to disturb the other from speaking for even a second, and look at the face of his friend. So reassuring, so firm, so serious about the things he was saying -- the face of a person who truly believed. So much that it made Sion want to look up as well, to cast his eyes upon that same sky that his friend was seeing when he exposed his feelings and thoughts as honestly as this. But he didn't. Because even more than he wanted to see that, so much more, he couldn't let himself lose a single moment of that face.

                              That face which now finally turned to look back at him, as Ryner continued to speak.

                              Even the idea of so much as glancing at something else completely fled Sion's mind in that instant. His eyes stayed fixated on... everything at once it seemed. They flicked quietly over every move of the other's lips, over the gentle look that his friend was keeping for him, over every detail of that genuine, honest expression. Ryner just spoke, and he only watched, their faces perfectly in line with each other. I believe in you. As if hopelessly charmed by those words, all Sion could really do was keep looking, with his lips absently formed in the vague shape of the tiniest 'o' and no single trace of a mask or defense on his face. He wasn't seeing the other from as tiny a physical distance as last night, in the river, and yet it felt somehow as if they were incomparably closer right now. So Sion smiled very absently in response to the other's own careful expression -- although why was his smile so sad and why did it feel like it hurt? Ah, that's right...

                              "If you say something like that..." he spoke quietly, voice very calm -- almost resigned in its peaceful lack of any real objections. "Even I might be troubled for real."

                              Troubled.

                              That word, right then, definitely had taken upon a different meaning. Sion was fine with being troubled like that -- he wanted it, even. Right now, there was no barrier between him and Ryner at all. At that close distance, and still there wasn't. And there wouldn't be, either, no matter what happened. The silver-haired male had long since given up on not being fully open and honest right then, almost as if for a second he was abandoning himself in front of the other. After all, he couldn't help it... Ryner's words touched his heart. They went right through, and for a moment they made him want to believe. Want to truly believe in this world that his friend spoke of. That illusion in which he almost wanted to become trapped. Just the same way as that report he'd read over and over. The one his friend had written in prison... For even a second, even though Sion's nature was not to do so, he almost wanted to give up on the things he knew and just naively believe in that sort of impossible reality. That he didn't have to do this. That it was really possible to be together with Ryner and everyone else, and for none of them to worry about what was going to happen. An ideal world in which everything worked perfectly without anyone having to become the sacrifice which made it that way.

                              But that world was a lie. That world was only Ryner's painfully innocent heart.

                              Which the other was willing to let someone like Sion touch. Was willing to show for his sake.

                              "Thank you."

                              Sion's voice grew even quieter than before, even softer. There were many questions he had. Why did it have to be you? Why don't you value yourself over anything, even a little? Why can't I ever choose other things over you? But they were all things he'd long since accepted as they were -- answer-less problems, almost like natural states, which he wasn't going to seek explanations for anymore. This was why he had to save Ryner. Because of that dream of a world which could be obtained without giving up on a single person belonged to exactly the one who would have to be sacrificed. The one who hadn't included himself in his calculations at all even while he'd included Sion and everyone else, because he didn't value himself. If he were to know that he was the person who had to be sacrificed in order for the world to change, Ryner would be fine with that. Ryner wouldn't care what had to happen to him.

                              That was why Sion had to care in his place. He had to rescue Ryner from that fate.

                              Very slowly, he shifted a bit, pushing himself off the tree with the light touch of an elbow and turning to better face the other with the rest of his body as well. Softly fixed, his eyes never left direct contact with Ryner's own, not even for the tiniest fragment of a single second. What moved was his hand; he'd done this before, in his half-conscious state as he awoke to being carried by Ryner, and then last night as he couldn't hold back a strange impulse at the sight of the other's peacefully sleeping form. But this time was different. As he touched Ryner's face, now it was fully intentional and secure -- it was something he'd wanted to do with the other fully conscious of it as well. With that hand... The one stained all over with visible injuries. There was a reason why it was that one, though. Sorry, Ryner. I can't even do this for you like I should. With an uninjured, more delicate hand. Sion's face softened even more as he continued to look at the other. But even so, there was no hesitation. Those scarred, half-bandaged fingers ran over the warm skin of Ryner's cheek, passing from there over the tip of his ear and brushing hair slowly behind it. There it was again, that same sort of gentleness that had surfaced earlier as well -- the one that resembled, somehow, how a parent would treat a child, and yet was different from that all the same. No, this was definitely the way someone you loved would be treated. Someone precious and dear who had to know about those feelings.

                              "Ryner..." he murmured almost absently, as if thinking of things far away at the same time as being perfectly conscious of what was right there. "You were really my closest of friends. ...No, you still are." Those words, at least, were the truth. The absolute barest of truths. Would it have been worse if he lied? Or was it maybe countless times more terrible that he was using the truth? "To me, you're really... even more than just that."

                              Incomparably more.

                              The barest tip of Sion's thumb ran over lips, so softly it felt almost unreal, before his whole hand slipped naturally away to hide in the other's hair. Shifting to rest on the back of Ryner's head, it seemed to fit perfectly there.

                              And then Sion leaned closer.

                              "I have to..." He didn't even seem to know he was talking, almost as if making an inner note, as if convincing himself. "I need to..."

                              Just a little, his shoulders were shaking. No, his whole body might have been, and he wasn't sure which one the cause was, exactly. The fact that he'd gotten this close to Ryner, the fact that his forehead came to be lightly pressed against the other's... or maybe was it because this was the end? There was no turning back after coming this far. Despite the fact that it hurt to flex and move them like that, his fingers tangled themselves in Ryner's hair at the same time their lips almost touched. Just a little bit more, and he'd have really been covering the other's mouth with his own. He could have easily captured it just like that, completely meshing the warmth that he felt from the other with his own.

                              But he stopped. At the very last moment before that could have happened, Sion didn't move anymore.

                              His eyes were closed, he had no idea when they'd drifted so easily shut, and he couldn't really open them anymore. There was nothing in that frozen moment but Ryner, and Sion's own difficult breathing and the race of his heart in his chest. And that feeling, that exact impression, so very close he could sense it exactly, that should he even so much as flinch a little right then, his lips would meet Ryner's for real. ...Why had he stopped? That had been his exact intention all along, hadn't it? And yet, all he could do now was stay frozen there like that, with his eyes as tightly shut as he could possibly keep them. He couldn't do this. ...No, he could do this. The problem was that, after he did this, there'd be something else that he really knew he'd never manage to do. He wouldn't be able to stop himself and return to what he should really be doing. He'd just... let that object slip from his grasp...

                              Because, yes. That's right. His other hand had also been moving all along. There was a reason he'd used the one that he had to touch Ryner. The other, unnoticed, had been in the front of his coat all along and... this was the end. This would become the end, right here. Sion's touch grew suddenly steady, his voice losing every single trace of its softness as it became simply flat.

                              "Don't move, Ryner." The king's uninjured hand was quiet and still, held firmly in mid-air as the object it held pressed against Ryner instead -- the tip of the dagger rested right over his heart, with amazing precision. "I'm going to kill you, right here."

                              At the moment, such a thing wasn't difficult to believe at all. Sion's tone was dead serious, and his face frozen over completely, eyes almost glassy as they drifted suddenly open and fixedly stared -- unable to look for real at Ryner, but yet unable to flick away from him either, and so staring right through him instead. Right through him in that unbelievably close distance at which he couldn't have even seen anything but a blurred image. And... The very next moment, as time flowed over them and felt like an age instead of an instant, Sion started to shake yet again. He didn't want to; with every ounce of his consciousness, he really didn't want to, and yet his body was doing it anyway. Very subtly, from every single fiber of his being, he trembled a little. Almost as if he'd discovered a sadness so deep it was able to instill that sort of reaction, so uncharacteristic for that sort of feeling. His shoulders slumped slowly and he fell closer to Ryner, cheek brushing against the other's as Sion lowered his head over his shoulder. Deep in the back of his mind, something, some part of himself that wasn't actually even really part of himself... was definitely, even as Sion urged himself to do this, disapproving of his actions. He wasn't sure in which way... It was a very sad, very deeply emotional sort of sensation. That part of him aligned with his own honest feelings, which he held even then, of not wanting the other to die. But it was more so than that. It was that deep resignation again, much deeper than even his own gathered resolve to do this. It was the same sort of thing, but for an entirely different conclusion. That part of him had already, since a long time ago, since before Sion had even been born... Come to terms with another sort of fate. The exact same one that he was trying to...

                              BE SILENT.

                              It was pointless to shout at that entity. In the end, the pain that he felt vaguely from it was only his own. It was adjacent, and overlapped, and stacked with his own. He wasn't really separate from that person. That person wasn't really separate from himself. Those contradictory feelings and wishes belonged, in the end, only to him.

                              And yet, he hadn't been more firm in his life.

                              It won't happen the way you think. I won't let it be like you want.

                              All along, even through the trembling and painfully true regrets and contradictions in his own heart, his hand alone didn't falter one bit. The dagger stayed right where it was, tip very sharply reaching skin through the fabric of Ryner's shirt.

                              The world didn't matter.

                              He was going to kill Ryner. He had to. Sion had to kill Ryner without hesitation, just like that.

                              And yet, a few moments more drifted past and it still didn't happen. His body only shook more as he slumped even closer to the other, lips now basically touching Ryner's ear. And, not whispering but his voice somehow even more quiet than if he had been, he repeated it there.

                              "I'm... I have to kill you. It's better that way."


♔ ♔ ♔ -------------------- xx ↴ ↴ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S 哀しみのない世界 ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ x
✭ ✭ ✭ xxxx x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ AS I LIE GENTLY THAT IT SOMEHOW EXISTS xxxxxxxxxx
▱ ▱ ▱ 君が気付かないように xx ﹙﹙ x I N x S U C H x A x W A Y x Y O U x W O N ' T x N O T I C E x ﹚﹚ xx ▱ ▱ ▱ 包んであげたい 僕が盾になる xx ﹙﹙ x I x W A N T x T O x E N V E L O P x Y O U x ﹚﹚ xxxxxxxx
▭ ▭ ▭ x x I'LL BE YOUR SHIELD x x x ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxxxxxxxxxxx
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Plane Between Planes's avatar

Star Seeker

15,050 Points
  • Inquisitor 200
  • Love Machine 150
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▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ I'D LIKE TO SEE FOR HOW LONG I CAN STOP TIME LIKE THIS ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxx
▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x xxxxx
x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x xxxxxx
▪▪ x 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 xx ⋮⋮ xx 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 x ▪▪xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬x ↱↱ A TRANQUIL MEMORY FROM BEFORE BEING BORN x▬ ▬ xxx


                              He could feel it.

                              Every single breath of the male currently trapped against him, his every reaction, and maybe even his feelings... Sion could clearly discern them all. It was painful, almost. He knew that, as they drew together like that, Ryner had definitely also wanted to kiss him -- to get even closer. Just like he himself had wanted to do. He felt the way the other responded to being touched, the way he received Sion's words; how he was giving himself up for the first time with not a single defense. And then he clearly perceived how Ryner couldn't believe what he heard at first, how he was too taken aback to even properly understand for a bit. And then how it all slowly began to dawn upon him. The fact that Ryner had a heart which was currently racing, and the fact that his lips had moved and spoken, and were still maybe going to try. All of it... The proof that Ryner was alive. Right then and there, in Sion's arms, faced with that knife, the other male was still alive. Even though he probably should have been dead by then. Sion was stalling. His hand had stopped moving. And Ryner was still alive, just like that.

                              On those moments, without him even knowing, the whole world weighed against Ryner. Only Sion was aware of that.

                              But the world didn't matter, did it?

                              ...This had turned out terrible. To the very end of things, Sion was so very selfish... that he couldn't even hold himself back from wanting to take that one last thing from his friend. To etch the fact that they were really this close, and that such feelings had existed between them, deep within his soul. And in the end he was still so terribly weak that he couldn't even do that. Ryner was his ultimate weakness. Sion had needed to stop himself because, had he really gone any further than he already did, everything would start falling apart. And it wouldn't be because of the world. Indeed, that much weighed on their shoulders, right now. The fact that he and Ryner were the two gears which had to move everything towards change. He'd been told, and he would have known even without that sort of warning. In order for the world to change, he had to take everything from Ryner -- absolutely everything, and let him wander forever in darkness, trapped in hell for eternity. In theory, he should be choosing that sort of thing. Sion, the person who was always guided by his mind and not his heart -- who always walked the 'right' path no matter what. And yet, there was no path that was 'right' other than this. No matter what were to happen to the world, he had to kill Ryner -- kill Ryner and, in doing that, save him from the unfair destiny that had been decided for him. Even if it wasn't what he should really be doing, it didn't matter. Sion would choose the other over everything. That's how it was.

                              And yet...

                              Why was he hesitating? Was it because he was Sion -- no, because he was the King of Roland? Because, in the end, he really did only choose that flawlessly 'correct' road to go forward? Always forward, on the right path, choosing the world no matter what his personal feelings.

                              ...No. It really wasn't.

                              In this one single case, it really wasn't. Even though it may have felt that way, a part of Sion would always know why he wavered, and why his body was shaking like this. Why he always had wavered when it came down to Ryner.

                              That's why I'll save you.

                              That was why he was doing this.

                              If the world falls to pieces, so be it. I'll only save you.

                              That was why he'd stopped himself before his resolve was destroyed.

                              ...To still be able to kill him...

                              Sion would definitely kill Ryner. Here and now, he was really going to kill him.

                              Kill him.

                              With this dagger that tried to save you before, I'm going to...

                              Sion's fingers were gripping the hilt so tightly it hurt. His knuckles had turned completely white as the blood was obstructed from how tightly he clasped the object, as if something more important than the lives of everyone out there -- than existence itself -- depended on it. Because that's how it was. This was really, no question of it, more important to Sion than all of those things put together. He'd been right to choose Ryner. Just now, this past while, Ryner had shown him all of that yet again. He had returned to the side of the person who was capable of putting out an order to kill him, even though that person had silently promised, in opening him to the world once again, that he'd never betray him. Ryner was able to stay here with him, to accept Sion regardless, even after all that. No, even more. Ryner was fine with giving himself, so completely, to that very same person, just because that was what Sion wanted. He was willing to trust him, and accept him, and forgive even the gravest mistake. Because that naive, innocent, closest and dearest person of Sion's was simply that gentle. That's why this choice could be nothing other than right. No matter the world, this was the ultimate right thing to do.

                              "Yes," he replied, voice steady and quiet -- so very quiet. "That's how it is."

                              Even though they meant different things. Sion knew that they did. But he couldn't afford making another mistake. It was better if Ryner believed that sort of thing. If it would lead him to stay put and accept it, if it would make Sion able to move yet again...

                              For something like me... this sort of end...

                              No! That's not at all how it is!

                              Sion's hand faltered. It horribly, terribly faltered. As if an iron grip that couldn't be broken was holding it back, he couldn't move it. It was frozen in place, with that damned dagger gripped tightly like that, and he couldn't do anything else. Damn it. Damn it all. Hadn't he already decided that it was better this way!? That sadness he felt from Ryner, that ultimate sort of resignation and disappointment... That was how it should be. The other didn't know anything. It was better for him not to know -- because if he did, Sion was sure that kindness of his would really be Ryner's undoing. That, undoubtedly, Ryner would stop him. He'd grip Sion's wrist and stop him right there -- and do something stupid like smile or speak soft words towards him again. Words that cared for him, and that soothed his heart. With that strange charm of his, Ryner would find it again -- he'd find all of the weakness in Sion, and stop him. He'd make him want to believe yet again. Or worse yet, he'd convince him that it was fine to condemn him to that terrible fate. If he knew, Ryner would say that he didn't mind it one bit. And then Sion... would never be able to...

                              Even though he wasn't able to, even now.

                              The moment Ryner's hand touched his back, every single muscle in Sion's body froze, to the very last fiber of him. As if that light touch spread ice down his spine. Because he realized exactly what it could do. His own fingers couldn't unclench from the dagger; his own hand wouldn't move from there a bit, just holding that sharp tip of metal over skin it had already dug into a little. And if Ryner were to pull him just a little bit closer...

                              No.

                              Stop.

                              Glassy and unblinking, Sion's eyes were opened wide, his lips slightly parted, and he was afraid. Everything that was happening felt completely unreal. He still wasn't ready. Even after this, there was no way he'd be prepared. He'd said he'd kill Ryner -- repeated it over and over -- and yet... He wasn't ready to do so at all. He might not be able to. If this happened right now... This was not what he wanted. He really didn't want this at all, especially not like that. Not with Ryner himself being the one to settle the score. That was simply too cruel. He couldn't let his friend -- his precious, dearest of friends who didn't deserve any of this -- end with something like that. Stop. STOP. That one wish surfaced strongly, with desperation almost, as Ryner's face softly buried itself in Sion's shoulder. He could feel it all too well -- that unbelievable warmth which invaded him and flowed through his body from there, turning his shaking into almost a shiver instead. They were both trembling; together. Their bodies were pressed tightly against each other, and even now Sion's other hand hadn't disentangled itself from Ryner's hair. So much so that, if not for the dagger, it looked like he was only embracing him just then. Just gently holding him to himself, and shielding him there, more rather than trying to kill him. But that couldn't be possible, right? Those two things were complete opposites after all. Even if Sion did feel both of them at once. No, all along until now, he'd always felt one more strongly than the other. And there was no clearer moment for that sort of realization than now, when he powerlessly realized Ryner slipped even closer, and he felt through his hand which still couldn't let go that the tip of the dagger dug into flesh. At this rate, Ryner was really going to die. Sion was really going to have killed him.

                              "Ryner..." he breathed over the other, voice coarse and almost choked in his throat. "St...o..."

                              And then, the other suddenly moved. Just as Sion was no longer able to fight -- no longer able to oppose his own overwhelming emotions -- Ryner unexpectedly moved. If he hadn't... what would Sion have said right then? What sort of feelings would he have conveyed that were strong enough to hope they'd be able to stop the other's decision to end it all by himself? Everything was erased as Ryner suddenly fought him -- wedged his arm quickly between them, pushing Sion away as his other hand grabbed his wrist and tugged the dagger away from his chest. Sion's resistance was weak -- if it was even there at all. All of this hurt. It wasn't really the infinitesimal discomfort of his breath catching painfully for a moment as Ryner forced him back, nor was it the pressure applied to his wrist. The pain went in much more deeply than that, even more deeply than the sudden jolt that shot suddenly up his whole arm, propagating straight through the nerves as his already injured hand hit hard against the tree behind Ryner. Trapped between the rough bark that peeled skin away and the back of the other's head, Sion's fingers lightly slipped from the soft strands of hair they'd been firmly tangled among. And he himself slipped as well, just a little, unnoticed, letting Ryner escape.

                              He fell back just a bit in the momentum, landing awkwardly on his knees and one elbow, as the knife finally slipped from his grasp to fall down onto the carpet of leaves. Heavily panting, he simply stayed there for a second, as if in a daze.

                              And then...

                              Sion's eyes quickly shot up, as he disregarded his state completely just to find Ryner. Ryner who was looking at his own hand, as if dazed by the stains of red from his own injury. The injury that Sion had more or less given him, with that dagger that now quietly glimmered over the ground, in-between the same stains of red. The exact same that were on Ryner's own hand. As the other turned his head to look up at him, Sion had to muffle some sort of noise in the back of his throat, and he flinched. Almost as if, right now, he couldn't take being looked at, at all. Almost as if those brown eyes, which fixed on him with that sort of expression, painfully served as a reminder to him. ...And then, everything quieted. Sion's eyes only clouded even more than before. Shuffling as best he could, he pulled himself slightly up on that elbow, lifting the empty hand that had been holding the knife. He looked at it, for a second, almost is if it weren't his own. Slowly, almost reluctantly, those delicate fingers twitched as he examined them. And then they moved -- and the hand itself moved, rising up just a little and steadying itself. A bit of bluish light appeared as it waved very softly around -- very quietly -- undoubtedly drawing a magic circle. A magic circle perfectly aimed at Ryner as the other sat there, looking completely defenseless.

                              ...And Sion was acting mechanically, as if possessed by some outer influence.

                              "What I seek is..." His eyes looked up again, at the face of his friend -- although it was a lost, aimless gaze. His voice was still, even now, interrupted by his own heavy breathing. "Is..." Or maybe it wasn't by that. It caught pathetically in his throat and ultimately became lost, ending in nothing but a pitiful, pained sound. "Hah..."

                              His hand shook again, twitching so violently that Sion's finger drew a clear, sudden line from one end to the other of the magic circle, across it, very clearly ruining it. For the second time that day, his spell was interrupted, and the gathering energy faded quickly away. After a second of tension, frozen silence and one more deep breath, Sion's shoulders visibly slumped. ...He'd known from the start. He'd been aware that he couldn't cast this, and yet he'd still tried. For not being able to accept what had happened... Sion was pathetic. Even though he knew it was over, he still thought he could continue. He still pushed himself past any imaginable limit to try to go back to his original intention. An intention that wasn't even there anymore, because it had long since faltered as any amount of determination he may have had was long since broken and scattered upon the wind. He wasn't even sure he knew exactly what happened. What had he done? What had he thought?

                              ...This was truly, really pathetic.

                              As he made that sudden discovery, all over again, Sion's mouth drew itself into a quiet, firm line. Moving as carefully as he could, without wasting even a single breath or sliver of effort -- as if having found balance again through mysterious, unexplainable means -- he pulled himself up into a seated position. He folded his legs and just sat there on his knees. ...He was different, somehow. Definitely, something had changed; and there was no expression on his face as he spoke, voice equally devoid of a tone.

                              "Talk to you...?" he echoed the words from the other that had been breathed earlier over his lips, which now seemed almost ages away. Softly, the tiniest chuckle, just as emotionless and lifeless as everything else, escaped Sion's lips. But it still derided that thought, didn't it? It definitely... wasn't a broken voice, at all. He wouldn't allow it. "...What would that possibly do? You don't know a single thing."

                              And I don't want you to know.

                              This thing he was showing... was definitely not sadness. Sion wouldn't let it. It wasn't regret, either. After all, he wasn't sorry for what he'd done, was he? Not one single bit. Even though, truth be told, he felt sick to his stomach. His arms almost wrapped around himself, as if to hold back that bitter sensation, one hand trailing red just like Ryner's -- almost as if in a mirror of him. But he firmly stopped himself all of a sudden, cutting short such a weak move before it could even begin, and instead... fell entirely still. That's right. That's how it worked, didn't it? He was... that sort of person. All it took was a deep, quiet breath, and his eyes closing in silence like this, for only an unnoticeable bit longer than normal. That would completely align his expression. And...

                              He'd change, just like that.

                              Without hesitation, Sion pulled himself to his feet. And it wasn't halfhearted at all; every single move turned out somehow firm and secure, his body steady and unwavering. Unbelievably so. There was really no telling where that sudden strength came from at all, but it definitely appeared. Sion's eyes stayed fixed on the ground, as he very carefully and slowly drew himself up with some sort of hidden, stubborn determination. There was the barest moment of stumbling as he tried to find balance, but even that went gracefully half-hidden and muffled. There was absolutely no flaw to his stance. His back and shoulders straightened themselves, chin lifting just slightly. Only a tiny bit of something -- was it akin to arrogance? -- slipped into Sion's stance as he stood there, correcting himself until he was completely perfect, and showed no sign of weakness. Alone, by his side, his injured hand let a small droplet of blood trickle down over the length of one finger, to fall down from there. But it was as if Sion didn't even feel any of it at the moment. As if there were no sensation of something wet running over skin, and rolling off to the ground. And then, at a regular interval, another followed it and then another. His hand was definitely bleeding, splattering small bits of color over the leaves and twigs and soft earth below, and yet he wasn't paying it any mind.

                              This man, who was capable of looking so steady and dignified over there, oddly perfect despite his bruised and tattered sort of state, was...

                              The King of Roland. The Hero King, Sion Astal.

                              Yes, this was definitely the man who ruled over this country. With no weakness showing, but only an unbeatable sense of inner strength.

                              Even if, to the very last bit, it was all fake.

                              Those emotionless, impartial eyes that said nothing at all fixed themselves upon Ryner. It wouldn't have been wrong to tell that they were looking down upon him for real -- more than literally so, as they didn't falter one bit. There was still no readable expression on that elegant face, which just coldly and perfectly hid all that the man wearing it may have been thinking or feeling. If one looked at it, it may have really seemed that he was disgusted with Ryner. Even though the only one who truly made him feel sick was himself. That weak self who declared something as strong as killing his friend, and then failed to do it. That stupidly emotional self who, even in the midst of strongly wishing to save the other, ended up not doing it because... what? Because he wanted to be close? Because Ryner was dear to him? If that were true, then he should have stopped being selfish. He should have done what was best for the other, and yet he couldn't. And not for a noble reason at all. It wasn't the world that Sion stopped for. It wasn't that he reconsidered the decision he made. It was that he was simply... so horribly powerless he couldn't even go through with the things he should have been doing. With neither of them. Not one or the other -- not Ryner, nor the world. Sion hadn't saved a single thing right now, because he was weak. Because he still, even after resolving to gather himself, didn't have enough strength.

                              He never had enough strength. Not to see Kiefer's suffering instead of blindly remaining oblivious, not to prevent the deaths of their friends in an ambush, or to have saved Fiole back then. He couldn't protect any of those people who died, and that's why they all, to the very last one, weighed on his shoulders. Should have weighed on his shoulders. And now... it was the same way with Ryner. Sion couldn't do anything. A single thing at all.

                              That's why, he was truly disgusted. The bitter taste just wouldn't leave his mouth, and his teeth painfully gritted together. Was he angry? Maybe he was, he realized as he discovered both his hands were balled into fists by his side, the injured one still dripping blood, and now pulsing with dull pain from the forced move it had taken. But Sion ignored even that, and only kept looking at Ryner. With that same expressionless face, all along.

                              "Tell me, Ryner," he said, just as quietly as before. And still with that hidden resentment, even though it still wasn't really aimed at the other. No, this was a Sion who had completely given up, although Ryner probably couldn't know that. "What are you going to do? You wanted to live, didn't you?" Sion turned his head, and he looked out into the darkening sky interrupted all over by branches. His ears caught the sound of water and he half-absently shifted towards it. "If you don't stop that bleeding," he sharply continued, "you're really going to die."

                              And with those cold, cold words, he simply started to walk. Turning his back on the other. After all, the only thing he could bring himself to feel for him at the moment was pity. He felt sorry for Ryner, who was going through this as unaware as he was. Who had no idea of the sort of thing that waited for him. Who still didn't deserve such a thing at all. Nothing had changed. Sion couldn't save him. So the rest of his feelings were locked behind that dull pain that completely filled up his chest. They stayed there, as he simply gave up on them for the moment and hid them in there. Even if he hadn't, there was nothing he could do about them, anyway. He'd already tried. And his weakness was such that nothing came through. So it would be pointless even if he did let them surface. Everything was meaningless in the end.

                              There were no tears.

                              ...But Sion... was probably crying right then. That's how he felt.

                              Softly, he knelt by the side of the river. It might have been more accurate to say that he'd dropped there, with not a single ounce of strength left in his body, but he was perfect right now, wasn't he? So it looked like he'd sat completely on purpose. He just stared at the water, darker now that the sun was swiftly hiding away, as it ran quickly and distorted his own vague reflection upon its surface.

                              'Are you really fine with this?'

                              It was what that reflection seemed to say.

                              'Even though I already know. I know how you feel.'

                              Maybe it really did.

                              'Everything has to go on as it's meant to. You'll be alright. We'll be alright.'

                              ...No. He really probably wasn't. Even after what had just happened, Sion probably still couldn't agree with that. But he didn't deny it right then. As he leaned closer over the water, it was almost as if that other presence in there could embrace him. Almost as if it was the only thing that still would -- the only thing he could hold on to at the moment.

                              ...Ahh, that's right. He hadn't come here to do this. He'd come here to clean his injuries or something like that. Slowly, with self-abandon, Sion dipped his hand in the water, watching absently as small trails of red drifted away on the current.


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Plane Between Planes's avatar

Star Seeker

15,050 Points
  • Inquisitor 200
  • Love Machine 150
  • Hive Mind 200
User Imagexxxxxxx

x 君 の 手 を 握 り し め x ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
↓ ↓ ↓ xx T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x ▾ ▿ ▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ xxxx
▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ I'D LIKE TO SEE FOR HOW LONG I CAN STOP TIME LIKE THIS ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxx
▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x xxxxx
x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x xxxxxx
▪▪ x 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 xx ⋮⋮ xx 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 x ▪▪xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬x ↱↱ A TRANQUIL MEMORY FROM BEFORE BEING BORN x▬ ▬ xxx


                              It was almost impossible, unbelievably so, how lucid exactly Sion was. How aware he remained of absolutely everything that had happened -- was still happening. There was no shred of doubt in his mind that this was reality, right there, actual fact to which he couldn't close his eyes, or his mind... or his heart. He'd never been really good at things like that, anyway. Sion was truly far too rational for his own good. He would never delude himself. He would never be fooled by illusions. He would never believe in anything fake. That had always been how he worked, but right now... even for a second, he might have abandoned that nature if he could. But it wasn't possible. None of this could be tuned out. He couldn't deny it. He couldn't ignore it. He couldn't forget it. As his hand still trembled lightly -- and it may have been the chill of the water that ran over it, but somehow he doubted as much -- he looked at it and all he could remember was that this was the hand that had held Ryner. The same one which had tangled fingers through his hair and pulled him just a bit closer, into what had been supposed to be an honest proof of his feelings at first -- a moment in which they'd share their emotions. Only... so that his other hand could betray him. So it could suddenly point a dagger at him and hold steady, trying to... He had tried to kill Ryner. That, above all, was what he couldn't ignore. Sion's nature didn't allow it, even for a single moment, as he couldn't stop that habit he had of being extremely conscious of everything. Pushing things away... making a safe place... distancing any and all things and forcing himself to believe that everything was alright... Such things weren't within Sion's abilities. He wasn't that sort of person. No, he was the exact opposite of such a person. Sion was someone who always, without fail, realistically saw things for exactly what they were. He knew and saw the truth of the world -- to the tiniest, worst facets of reality, everything, without exception. He would never deny it, and never hide from a single thing. Because that defined the kind of person he was.

                              And so, he listened to the pathetic calls of his friend. To every single one of them. He didn't block out a single word -- his ears didn't miss even a sound. Even though his body didn't react, even though it seemed like he might have been ignoring it... The truth was, to even the slightest fragment of a letter, they sank in like daggers. Daggers... How ironic it was to perceive them like that. Maybe needles would have been more appropriate. Slipping in through the cracks and wedging themselves carefully in... and never ceasing to sting. Like this, it was almost as if he were pushing them through his own skin, and guiding them personally straight to his heart. That was how Sion felt as he simply stood there, eyes unable to leave the small trails of blood that the water stole from his hand. He wasn't even sure he was able to perceive them as his own. Those hands... were both stained with Ryner's blood, in a way. So, in that case... what if he bled? It was better like this, because he deserved to be reminded of what he had done; mercilessly and clearly, down to the very tiniest detail, he should see it. No matter what he looked at, the only image that he processed was Ryner. Ryner, with a pained, immensely sad expression. Ryner, squirming desperately on the ground, his hand stained heavily with red. Ryner, struggling pointlessly to pull himself together... And he heard it all. Every single weak, hopeless, frantic 'Sion' that left the other's lips, sounding as if all of Ryner's undoubtedly shattered heart was put in that one single word.

                              ...But of course, the one who was called with such urgent, despairing desire to bring him back would not answer. He only sat there, as still as a sculpture of ice, hand absently dipped in the water. If only that current could have washed all these feelings away, that would have been great. It would have been perfect. But he didn't deserve that sort of relief. He should only stay there, listening to those pleas, as his lips alone, with no voice, formed the reply.

                              Ryner.

                              The intensity of the feelings on that single word suffocated Sion completely.

                              I'm here.

                              He wanted many things. To reply. To turn back. To see the other. To hold him, to tell him whatever it took to stop the sound of that voice. To soothe him... to talk to him to have him close to calm him to be right there with him toreassurehimtohelphimtoapologizetoembracehimtomakeeverythingbetter. His wishes raced through his head -- no, they ran through his whole body like that -- and echoed over and over.

                              Because I'm so terribly weak, you're suffering this much.

                              That was exactly why Sion had to stay there. He ought to listen to everything. He had to hear it, and had to be conscious of it. As conscious as possible, of every single, tiniest bit.

                              Ryner. Ryner. ...Ryner...

                              RYNER.

                              His mind was full of the other. His heart was full of him too. Full of his name. Full of his face. His ears rang with his voice. Ryner's touch, or remnants of it, were left all over Sion's body. The other had looked happy, and laughed with him, and grabbed his arm. He'd turned his head away, and called him troublesome, and then mock-attacked him in a fit of fake anger. He'd gazed at him with sad eyes, and turned his back, and forgiven him at the same time. He'd fixed unimpressed eyes on Sion and made a bored comment at him and tried to keep him away. He'd failed at that and then made a vulnerable face and then pulled Sion closer himself. He'd shown that quiet sort of expression, and spoken those calm, honest words, and... he'd given himself to his friend. That was Ryner. All of it, no matter what order it mixed in, was Ryner. All of it was engraved into Sion. ...And now, that broken sort of voice was joining it. Those curses were joining it. That certainty that the other was really... probably... crying right then. Crying, almost as if spending the tears that Sion himself hadn't been able to form, as well. And, more than that, as if hating himself. As if not wanting anything anymore. From the sounds of that voice, from those emotions that reached him, Sion could tell.

                              Ahh... damn it... Sion's eyes stung. His vision was blurry. Something warm filled his eyes... and no sound escaped him. He didn't move. Because he definitely wasn't... He wasn't... He'd never...

                              Slowly, his head sagged. He lowered it obediently, hand slipping further into the water, until it found the bottom. Like that, his arm was sunk into the cold, uncaring liquid up to his elbow, and he seemed to freeze even more. Surely, he must have become just like that glassy reflection that stared back at him from the depths. His shoulders tensed with some sort of violent emotion, something like anger -- and discouragement -- and protest -- and powerlessness. And his fingers clutched, gripping at whatever they had. Even though that was the jagged edge of a rock, which only further injured his already torn fingers -- even the scraps of bandage that had been tied around them slipped, and the tightened cloth dug into flesh, only cutting it deeper instead of protecting it like it should have. And yet he didn't care. He scratched at the stone, as if that could have produced some sort of powerful sound which could reach out and stop that broken voice and those sighs and sobs from the person who touched his heart the most in the world. But that wouldn't happen.

                              To the very end... Sion would listen to it. Sion would know, and he'd never forget.

                              That was what he deserved. That feeling that seemed almost strong enough to crush even the bones in his chest was undoubtedly there because he was weak. Just that weak. Because if he couldn't protect anything else, then why should he be able to protect even himself? ...No. That wasn't even the question. What even gave him the right to so much as think to attempt it? Nothing at all... There was nothing. All Sion should do was just sit there like that, in a defeat that matched Ryner's and mirrored it perfectly. If he'd hurt the other that much, then he should hurt even more. Even though... he probably couldn't even do that. He couldn't do anything. He couldn't help the other at all.

                              Like this... he wasn't even sure if he breathed anymore, as he just looked at the water stained a deep red that it wasn't yet fully washing away, just distorting. A brilliant, wavering red that took over his world.

                              He didn't know how long he stayed there, even after all motion and sound from the other died down at last. He hadn't really been aware when it happened. He'd been already too far gone, gripped by it all, to figure out time anymore. But now, as everything finally started to clear again, numbness crawling up his arm and forcing Sion's attention back on the immediate things that surrounded him, he finally shifted. And as he did that, he became acutely aware of the silence that had fallen over the scene. Of the fact that he'd fallen in the water somehow, and sat there pathetically on his knees and one hand, still staring at his reflection, technically, even though he'd stopped really seeing it at some point. It was getting dark very quickly, and evening had definitely started falling around him -- over the forest, the river, the scene, himself, and everything else. ...And the sense of pain in his hand, that shot from his fingers through his palm and gripped even his wrist, served as a dull alarm of sorts -- almost as a reminder call that he had to do something. He had to move. He'd been still for so long that even that sort of sensation was fading, as his whole arm felt weak and kind of unresponsive. Slowly, with awkward half-broken moves, he pulled his hand out of the water and looked carefully at it. ...He... couldn't really bring himself to be interested, even after noticing the clearly reopened injures that he'd definitely made worse. For now, it wasn't really bleeding anymore, so he only tore the one remaining strip of makeshift bandage away, a sharp hiss escaping through his teeth as his flesh responded with a deep sting that seamed to carve into the very core of the bones in his hand. Abandoning the thin, broken strip of cloth without much concern, he left it to drift off on the water, much like the other must have already done on its own, probably cut free by a sharp corner of rock during his earlier mindlessness.

                              To be honest, Sion probably didn't really feel like doing anything right then. His moves were mechanical, and slow, taken out of necessity and guided by a rational awareness that he should be pulling himself together. But there was no actual desire to do so in them, no motivation, no drive. There wasn't even instinct, it seemed. He simply used whatever support was available, in the form of a collapsed log on the side of the river, and splashed tiredly through the water, somehow managing to pull himself to his feet in the end. ...He was really exhausted. His body was probably at its limit, judging from the absolute slowness with which it responded to every single command, and from the shaky, almost mistimed responses it gave as it tried to match what he wanted to do.

                              "Ah..." he seemed to remember as he suddenly came to a halt yet again. "Ryner."

                              Right now, it was alright to speak to the other again. It was alright, because Sion no longer had the strength to resist the impulse of checking on him... of looking to him... of... No. That wasn't it. It was alright because he knew that the other probably couldn't hear him right now. That he'd finally passed out somewhere around and... Ah. Or was he maybe dead? Sion's heart skipped a beat in his chest as his whole body was crossed by a sensation akin to an electric shock. He instantly shook all tiredness off as if it never had been and turned -- first his head, over his shoulder, and then quickly the rest of his body as well, almost losing his balance and stumbling. His healthy hand fell fast and hard against a tree, sustaining only a minor scratch as it managed to catch him. Really, his own condition as well... was rather at the end of all capacity and ability to continue along.

                              And yet, he somehow found strength. He somehow, very pitifully, managed to will himself to step forward and head for the place where Ryner had crawled and lay currently still. The path to the other was marked fully in red -- soon to be just deeper darkness over the already dark ground as night swiftly approached. Slow, dragging footsteps led Sion there, almost as if in a daze. The only thing that his mind chose to notice right then was which place it was -- which tree, exactly, his friend had chosen to rest as he probably gave up on the world and thought he might die. Or maybe he hoped for it, even? After all, Sion had hurt him... Right under that tree, in trying to save him, he'd caused him more pain than anyone else. ...All because he was weak. This sort of exhausted movements... That's right. They suited his powerless self.

                              "But it's fine... Ryner," he spoke softly at the other, his face almost turning back to that usual, gentle, extremely caring expression that Ryner used to get from him from time to time; especially as he slept after being put through a lot for his silver-haired friend's sake, unaware of the fact that Sion watched over that as if to protect him in thanks. For only the shortest moments, the only thing that even stayed different at all was that deep, all-encompassing sadness that covered his features right now and only softened those delicate lines even more. That, at least, was a feeling right from the heart. "It's fine," he continued to murmur. "As long as you can't see any of this... I'll... I will..."

                              Stay here with you.

                              Softly, Sion slumped to his knees over the fallen form of the other, hovering close.

                              I'll stay here with you, because that's what I want the most.

                              "As long as you can't see it..." he repeated, almost like an echo, to himself.

                              His hands traveled carefully down, finding Ryner's own which had almost slipped away from the open wound on his chest -- the wound that was Sion's fault, this was a painful reminder -- as the brown-haired male had lost consciousness and control of his body. Really... If he left Ryner like this, the other really would die. The front of his shirt was stained through completely, and through the slight opening the dagger had carved cleanly into it, Sion could see that the wound still faintly bled even now. Not as much as before, but it did. It wasn't stopping. If he left Ryner like this, life would slip softly from him, droplet by droplet like this, and he'd finally... He'd finally never wake up again. ...Wouldn't that have been better? Wasn't that what Sion wanted? Then why was he gathering up Ryner's shirt in his hands? He didn't know. He didn't know, as he just did what the deepest impulses he could find in himself dictated in absolution, with no chance of resisting. He'd given up fighting himself, anyway. He already couldn't do anything earlier, so this all didn't matter at all anymore. Carefully, the soft touch of delicate fingers bared Ryner's stomach, exposing it once again -- with a tinge of fond memories from not long ago -- to Sion's eyes while his hands bundled the cloth and pulled it steadily up. He folded it as best he could over itself, creating a second layer over the other male's chest, and slipping it gently under Ryner's own hands. And then, as steadily as they could while almost wanting to tremble again, Sion's palms pressed over that as well. He guided Ryner's hands right back over the wound in his chest, adding his own. As heavily as he could. As firmly as possible. He leaned closer, shoulders sagging like that while his forearms stayed tense like a spring, applying as much gentle pressure as he possibly could. He felt Ryner's knuckles trapped under his hands. He felt even further than that. The remaining warmth from the other's body -- that so very familiar sensation -- pulsing slightly below him, passing to him, trading with his own, almost as if they were merging together.

                              Sion was... keeping Ryner alive.

                              He didn't know how long he remained there like that. Until every inch of his body felt sore and even his mind had numbed into a daze which could no longer really count minutes, or even perceive time at all. The tiny trickles of blood from his own far more minimal injuries had probably mixed with Ryner's by now, as both their hands were stained, stained so completely that he wasn't sure this would ever come off. The blood itself might, as water would remove it, but this feeling... this memory might remain forever imprinted in skin. And burned into his mind, as Sion was unable to take his eyes off that wound... off that thing that he caused. Off the vivid proof that he'd tried to kill his best friend... no, the person who meant far more than even that to him. And he was probably going to try again, wasn't he? Was this really the last time? He was saving Ryner's life right now, trying to keep him from bleeding to death, and yet he still wasn't fully convinced that the other should live. Because... even if he did survive, what was there for him? What sort of fate awaited this poor, broken, and still so amazingly, beautifully sad young man that he saw? Sion's eyes flicked quietly to that face which rested deeply and let his lips part just a bit, releasing a small, noiseless sigh. It was cold out here, it seemed, because his breath trailed just a tiny fragment of white, sending it off to dissipate in the air. And yet, he wasn't really feeling all that. There was the warmth of the other's body, as Sion had slipped over him even more, and still kept their hands pressed tightly together over that wound.

                              "Ryner... I..."

                              Feelings raced through his chest, stirring that weak, lost voice. Strong feelings, almost akin to a fire, which hurt at the same time as it provided warmth. Emotions that wanted to be put into words more strongly than ever, but weren't, as usual.

                              In the end, the bleeding really did stop. Still without being able to put what he thought into words, Sion parted quietly from his friend -- from his dear friend with whom, even now, he still wanted to stay, to whom he hadn't stopped referring like that in his mind or heart for even a second. He slipped off the other in silence, hands leaving Ryner's as carefully as he could, so that the other's wouldn't also fall away from his chest and that wound. He hadn't been seen. As long as he hadn't been seen, that was fine. Ryner wouldn't know that Sion was so weak he allowed him to live, because from the very bottom of his heart he was unable to kill him. Because he had a weakness for him. Because he was hiding something from him that he absolutely couldn't be allowed to find out. That painful secret would be taken with Sion, slowly, as his face recomposed into an expressionless mask when he was left with no warmth from the other but only the chill of the night.

                              He only dragged himself to the water again; to clean the incriminating, red evidence from his hands.

                              ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰


                              As morning crept in, it found Sion somehow, in some form or fashion, still there. He'd crawled back in the end, only to crash against the same tree as Ryner, half-around it from him, where he wouldn't be so easily spotted. Because, right then, he probably didn't want to be seen. That was the same feeling that the light awoke vaguely within him, as he lifted a hand to shield himself against it. And that's how he stayed. With his forearm rested gently over his forehead, and half over his eyes, shielding them from having to look at the world -- or maybe from being looked at in turn? Whatever the reasoning, there he was. Just slumped in that spot, back rested against the wood and legs half-bent in abandon, as if he'd started drawing his knees to his chest before he'd given up even on that and just stopped, falling into this pathetic, pitiful stance of defeat. His shoulders were sagged as well, with no life in them, and one of them sharply hurt. All in all, actually, his whole body hurt, and the pain in his hand was insane by now, throbbing endlessly through almost as if something was still there, digging into his flesh. He supposed that was what happened when he added injury over injury like he'd so brainlessly done. Not that it mattered.

                              Any sleep that Sion had gotten had lasted for minutes at best, before he'd suddenly been jolted awake yet again, and stayed like that for a very long while. He wasn't even thinking of anything. There had been so much time that he'd long since stopped doing even that, right?

                              The thing that truly awoke him from that state of abandon was, in the end, when there was finally shuffling on the side of the tree. He couldn't see -- although he could have, if he turned to look and shifted just a little around the trunk, but he didn't do any of that. He just waited, and absently listened, and continued to stare at the ground under his own dirty boots. Even he... was a bit at a loss at the moment. Even as his mind awoke to its functions, and his body shivered lightly to shake off the cold of the night that had piled upon him and let in the chill of the morning as well... How should he speak? What sort of approach should he adopt? In the end, probably... most likely...

                              ...It didn't matter anymore; he'd just say whatever it took.

                              As Ryner's voice, unbearably lifeless to Sion's ears, sounded from the side of the tree, the answer came more easily than he thought. Like an automatic, natural thing.

                              "There is," he tonelessly contradicted the other's conclusion. "Right here... there is." That last repetition was quieter, much more so, almost like a murmured note to himself rather than Ryner.

                              Nothing at all could be read from Sion's voice.

                              He stood up from his spot, tiredly but more steadily than the other had been able to do it, uninjured hand only resting on the tree for a moment before he found support on his own and pulled away. It wasn't actually that bad, in the end. He may not have slept, but he rested. Or maybe... he actually exhausted himself so much that he couldn't even feel tired at all anymore. This was somehow similar to when he spent hours at his desk and morning caught him still there and he ended up not sleeping at all that night anymore in the end. There wasn't the usual clarity to things, but his moves and thinking were steady enough, and he could continue on through some sort of inertia, as if all was perfectly normal. Turning slowly around the tree, he walked plainly in sight of the other male, his face just as unreadable as the tone of his words.

                              "I... probably can't get out of this forest without you," he stated plainly.

                              He didn't apologize. He didn't even start to explain. Because, if he did... Sion felt like he might never stop again. Like he'd continue so far into everything he might break down then and there completely. And... That was only the truth. Whether it was physically impossible and he needed the other's cooperation or strength... Or whether he felt like he had an obligation towards Ryner and couldn't just leave him behind... Or even whether he just wanted to be with the other so badly and desperately, even now, he wouldn't have made it either if the other wasn't with him. Whatever the reasoning behind his statement was, it definitely sounded like truth. Solid, unshakeable reality, and nothing more. The other had no choice but to accept it as that, as Sion moved closer to him and carefully took a hold of his arm. Pulling as gently as possible, he tugged it over himself and leaned forward a little, lowering his head just enough to sling that arm over his shoulders, letting Ryner's side rest against his. Considerately enough, the right side which was further away from the injury still visibly present on Ryner's chest, under the layers of cloth that clung to it, dried out with blood. Sion's own arm passed behind Ryner and wrapped itself lightly around his waist, and never once did the silver-haired male realize that his words, to the other, might have just sounded like this was the true reason he couldn't kill him. Because he needed Ryner to save his own life.

                              "You need water. Come on."

                              With those careful words, and giving no explanation about anything at all, just like he wasn't expressing a single thing except what was necessary to say... He began to slowly, step by step, guide Ryner towards the river. Kneeling carefully once there, he brought the other down with him, still supporting him all along. All of his strength right then, he gave to Ryner as he pointed him to the water. ...And his eyes couldn't help but, ever so slowly, lock on that face, carefully scouring it for even the smallest trace of expression. Because once again, oddly and almost like a surreal impression, the other's warmth was even now distinctly felt on every portion of Sion that touched him directly. ...And maybe not only there, somehow.

                              Did he maybe, just maybe, with those eyes that sought Ryner like that... look just a bit guilty? What good would that do anymore? He just locked that away.

                              It definitely took strength, of an impossible sort, to act like this after what happened last night. And yet, there was no choice. Sion didn't feel like there was.


♔ ♔ ♔ -------------------- xx ↴ ↴ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S 哀しみのない世界 ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ x
✭ ✭ ✭ xxxx x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ AS I LIE GENTLY THAT IT SOMEHOW EXISTS xxxxxxxxxx
▱ ▱ ▱ 君が気付かないように xx ﹙﹙ x I N x S U C H x A x W A Y x Y O U x W O N ' T x N O T I C E x ﹚﹚ xx ▱ ▱ ▱ 包んであげたい 僕が盾になる xx ﹙﹙ x I x W A N T x T O x E N V E L O P x Y O U x ﹚﹚ xxxxxxxx
▭ ▭ ▭ x x I'LL BE YOUR SHIELD x x x ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxxxxxxxxxxx
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Plane Between Planes's avatar

Star Seeker

15,050 Points
  • Inquisitor 200
  • Love Machine 150
  • Hive Mind 200
User Imagexxxxxxx

x 君 の 手 を 握 り し め x ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
↓ ↓ ↓ xx T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x ▾ ▿ ▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ xxxx
▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ I'D LIKE TO SEE FOR HOW LONG I CAN STOP TIME LIKE THIS ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxx
▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x xxxxx
x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x xxxxxx
▪▪ x 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 xx ⋮⋮ xx 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 x ▪▪xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬x ↱↱ A TRANQUIL MEMORY FROM BEFORE BEING BORN x▬ ▬ xxx


                              It was the exact opposite of what he would have wanted to do. Ryner slipped from his grasp as soon as there was no longer a need for Sion to support him, and it was the exact opposite of what he'd have wanted to do. The silver-haired male had never known it more clearly than right now, when that strange sort of warmth that felt almost like he didn't deserve it fled from his side. No, not almost; he really, completely didn't deserve it at all. It slid away gently, just like that, and his own arm fell back to his side as he could do no else but carefully let himself stay there as well, kneeling in the spot adjacent to Ryner's. And, at that moment, he was the most painfully aware of every detail of how exactly he would have much rather pulled the other closer instead of letting him go. Almost as if he foolishly thought that if he held Ryner like that, tightly pressed to himself, all his injuries might heal by miracle in some way or another. But the truth was that would probably only hurt the other more -- and Sion didn't have the strength or the will to attempt such things right then to begin with. There was no way he could do that -- no way he could ever hope to do that again, even though he had been so close to the other not even twenty-four hours ago. Through his own actions, he'd lost that right. He'd really, finally, completely managed to lose Ryner forever. That's how the fading feeling of that warmth was perceived, and that's why he didn't want to really let go. But since it was his fault, he'd done so anyway with no objections, just limply letting himself drop where he was. Sion didn't even question for one second that he deserved every moment of this strange sort of fear mixed with a hollow, vague sadness. Hoping for anything else was selfish, and unrealistic.

                              His hands just rested quietly in his lap.

                              They provided something for Sion to shift his gaze to, because he definitely didn't deserve to even look at Ryner anymore. He could definitely feel it. Ryner had slipped away from him in a conscious effort -- even in his state, he'd rather pull himself away than wait even two more seconds for Sion to let him go. And why wouldn't he? Sion shouldn't be holding him. ...He shouldn't be touching him either, right? Not if there wasn't an explicit practical purpose. He remembered that halfway through as one of his hands softly twitched and lifted weakly from his lap, trembling pathetically as it hesitated on the way to the other. To his head -- so very close to gently running fingers through Ryner's hair to try and soothe even a tiny bit of everything. He couldn't do that. Ryner probably didn't want him to, anyway, and he'd only hurt him more instead of helping. Again. Just like he'd already done. Sion's hand faltered, hovering mere inches away from the completion of that thoughtless intention he'd foolishly gotten before he could control himself. There was definitely... no way he should do this. He should just remain in his spot and be quiet. So Sion's hand slipped back down, falling helplessly by his side. That same hand who had touched the other so many times before... It couldn't reach over to him. It may have never been able to do that, even before, no matter how close it got. Because that hand was supposed to have saved his friend, and it didn't.

                              There were many things Sion could have done at the moment. He could have been considerate of the state the other was in and helped him. Supported him some more, pulled him back up, aided him in that pathetically slow struggle with his own clothes. He could have even helped him clean himself, and had a look at the wound despite how he doubted there was anything else he could do for it with what they had there anyway. But he didn't. Once he had been visibly rejected and kept away -- in his mind, at least, where he thought that was only the most natural thing -- he simply stayed there, unmoved and unblinking almost. There was no emotion on his face whatsoever, and there were no words. Even though he was conscious of even the smallest flinch of the other's regardless; without even looking at him, it was almost as if he were able to sense Ryner's pain at the moment. It was... almost as if the other, with those lifeless moves, with that sort of lack of real consideration for his own well-being... was treating himself like an object.

                              That was the impression Sion got, and he couldn't even protest it. He could only powerlessly half-watch, no matter how wrong it felt.

                              The other's words, that dull explanation he'd given... It wasn't needed. Even without any words, right then, Sion would have offered him even all the time in the world if that's what this took. Right then, he felt as if he could have given Ryner anything and everything. Because the other... should have it all. And yet... their impressions seemed to differ entirely. The opposite feeling expressed by those words which were spoken so naturally at him drew Sion's eyes to the brown-haired male almost before he could realize it. They weren't really attentive eyes, though. They weren't the startled, quickly widening eyes that would have fallen upon this sort of sight yesterday, and no color rushed hotly to his face, nor was there any 'What are you doing?' spoken in a half-strangled, somewhat panicked voice. There was nothing. Today, those eyes were lost and somehow distant, and every single actual detail of the other escaped him, hiding behind the only thing he could notice -- the blood. It was everywhere, and Ryner might as well have been stained fully in red, for real, because that was what Sion perceived. For a moment, his own hands were covered with that same red yet again, as the still vivid image from last night invaded his mind. An image that would not go away no matter how tightly he shut his eyes. And, along with that, one other truth was caught just at the last moment of seeing the other, enough to also remain in his head. That water... It seemed like it was doing the only thing Sion really couldn't right now. It was offering Ryner some comfort. The face that the other had made, if even for a second, stayed with Sion and brought a strange mix of feelings -- of being glad that the other had found even that tiny droplet of relief, but at the same time a deep regret of some sort which seemed to stem from everything at the moment. There were a million reasons, it seemed.

                              Slowly, the silver-haired male lowered his head and stayed there, not seeing a thing.

                              ...What had Sion been doing?

                              He had definitely tried to kill Ryner, but that seemed crazy even to him at the moment. If he'd been so determined to do it... Why was he getting these feelings of guilt? Why did it still feel wrong even though he could justify it rationally? Why hadn't he managed to finish things and gotten so desperate for the opposite end all of a sudden? ...Because he was weak, he knew that. Because his own feelings for the other were so strong that he couldn't decide one way or another, and so he wavered. It shouldn't have gone like that. It should have been easy; it should have been natural. If he didn't kill Ryner, he'd condemn him to that other, far more terrible fate... And yet, he didn't kill him. The fact that he'd faltered like that hung clearly upon Sion, and made him almost doubt his own reasons, his own thinking. What if he was just lying to himself somehow? Putting such a heroic, important meaning on things... when maybe this was far more terrible than that sort of excuse. He was saving Ryner? A small, painful smile almost built upon Sion's lips for a second, as he held back an empty sound of amusement in his throat. Maybe all he was trying to do was get rid of his own weakness. Maybe that's just what it had been all along. He'd been told before, after all -- Froaude had correctly concluded that Ryner was the symbol of Sion's weakness, and that probably the moment the other died would mark the disappearance of all hesitations, regrets and doubts from the king that was Sion Astal. That... was probably true. Because he couldn't even count the times that his thoughts of Ryner had almost made him wonder if becoming king had been worth it in the end; if he weighed this impossible dream against just getting to be with the other... Even Sion had wavered. Even he had been unsure he was satisfied with that path that he'd chosen, at such times, despite how deeply away he tried to lock that sort of doubts. Everything was true. The other was his ultimate weakness. Never once had Sion seen this as a reason to lay a single finger upon Ryner and harm him, but what if in his heart he actually felt differently? He may have been no friend who desperately wanted to save the other from his fate, in the end. Maybe he was just a cold, calculating b*****d who only wanted to eliminate even this last, strongest of obstacles from his path to doing what was needed -- getting what he wanted. Even though it didn't make sense because there was something else he could have done which worked far better for that, and it was the exact thing he'd thought he tried to prevent. Even so... He didn't like himself enough at the moment to stop from attributing the worst, most disgusting sorts of motives to himself. It felt almost more fitting that way.

                              ...But even with that, the feelings locked in his chest wouldn't go away. He still... very vividly, and very deeply, cared for Ryner. That was genuine. The pain from that was so genuine he couldn't believe his own theories in the end, even though it would have been so much more fitting that way, for someone like him.

                              Damn it.

                              What should he do?

                              The other continued to talk as he cleaned himself of the blood, and softly drew Sion's attention back from his own inner struggles. Red wavered over the water, and as Sion froze for a second in the middle of lifting his gaze from the ground and catching that smile -- that expression which should have really been anything but a smile -- upon Ryner's face, it felt almost as if that's where the color had come from. That what had been bleeding wasn't Ryner's physical injury, but just him, through those broken, empty words. Sion's lips softly moved, but no answer arrived, as Ryner only continued to half-draw his conclusions, masking them behind those simple, natural, so very accepting lines. Again, and then again, Sion's lips tried to move, and words to form in his throat -- to take advantage of even a few moments of silence and thought that the other would give him.

                              ...What was it he wanted to say? In such a fashion, what was it that Sion wished he could have transmitted?

                              Most likely the same thing as last night.

                              Stop. Stop.

                              But nothing came out, broken completely by the last thing Ryner added.

                              At last, for the first time that day -- no, first since he'd been pushed away from the other last night -- there was a very visible reaction on Sion's face. His delicate features softened from their cold, expressionless state into... probably surprise, although it would have been difficult to tell. It was such a quiet, sad, gentle sort of way to show surprise that it looked more like something he'd been expecting. That's right. All through their trek in this forest, he'd never actually asked Ryner if he had any idea which direction the road they left behind might have been. All along, he'd been content just assuming the other didn't know either, and... just staying with him. Saving as much time as he could of being close to his precious companion, to just him and nobody else, even if that were to turn out to be an insignificant amount in the end. ...But Ryner did know, all along, where the road had been. All this time, he could have said so; he could have gotten himself more easily out of this troublesome forest where he was going through pains and a million problems because of Sion... And yet he didn't. Ryner, also, had been staying with him. Together, they'd been biding their time, because they didn't want those precious moments to slip away. Sion understood it now. In figuring out that Ryner had done so, it became very clear that he, as well, had been exactly the same. That both of them would have probably stayed in that forest forever, if they could, just because they had each other like that.

                              Yesterday, he might have been just a bit more happy than he'd ever imagined he'd get.

                              ...Today, it just hurt, unbelievably much.

                              "Ryner," he called out quietly to the other, finally finding his voice. Even if only for that one single word. "I..."

                              He faltered again immediately after, as he caught sight of the other's face -- of his profile, more rather. It looked unbelievably sad, even compared to the palette of expressions that Ryner had shown him today, which were all painfully sad. This one was somehow... even more so than any other of those. Ryner wasn't listening to him; no, he didn't want to listen to Sion. He didn't even seem to want to look back at him, so the silver-haired male's voice quickly died back down in his throat. The feelings which had almost started to race back through him again quieted down, and slipped back before they could truly reach out and be put into what he'd been saying. Because Sion had wanted to say it. For that one single second before seeing Ryner, he'd wanted to tell him that he knew. That it was exactly what he'd wanted as well. That he'd been happy here because they were together, and that as long as he was with Ryner he felt as if he didn't even want to return to anything else. That this sort of situation had been what he was hoping for every day, when he thought of the other out there some place on his travels, and he realized that the more he couldn't have joined, the more he actually wanted to. He would have probably not been able to stop himself, and confessed to the other that he was so important to him he'd even entertained ridiculous thoughts like not being king. That Ryner was so precious to him that, if ruling Roland meant losing the chance to be with him, even though it had been Sion's greatest dream... just for one second, he'd maybe considered being together as more precious, still. Even if he couldn't do it, in the end, at least Ryner would have known that those were Sion's feelings. Despite the fact that he wasn't a person ruled by his feelings, and his logical mind always imposed, he still at least had them.

                              But now, all of that stayed yet again where it should; it remained a secret, known only by Sion's heart alone.

                              As Ryner finally moved, seemingly having finished cleaning himself and now just washing his face, Sion finally found the strength to stand up as well. He slowly rose from his spot, with tired moves, but otherwise quite secure on his feet. He didn't even require support to get up from there, which was probably a good sign. Aside from the pains of various bruises, and the particularly more pronounced throbs in his shoulder and hand, there didn't really seem to be any problem. Taking a deep breath, very quietly, he looked around at their surroundings, and as his shoulders sagged just a little in the final bit of resignation he could have still given from where he already had, expressions somehow seemed to find their way back to his face. Like this... he was almost normal Sion again, closing his eyes for a moment and trying to clear his head as he only looked extremely exhausted. Right now, clearly he was focusing only on practical things, and had left anything else for another time; so he just ever so naturally turned back to Ryner and followed the directions that the other gave as he dressed. Sion acknowledged them with a small nod, eyes darting after the other's hand every time and mind taking clear, definite notes. Probably... he told himself for a moment, this was the only thing he could really do for the other right now. If Sion kept his calm, and somehow managed to get organized, it would probably put less of a strain on Ryner, whose condition was far from ideal. The other may have not realized it, but despite the act he was putting on (or was it really an act?) to seem like he was alright and able to do what was needed, his physical weakness actually showed in every move.

                              "You won't do anything like that," he replied matter-of-factually, tone just a bit strict with the other. Sion had to impose at the moment, and keep things in check, no matter how harsh it may have been to the other. Yes, Ryner would have been better off treated nicely right then, but if they were to safely get anywhere... in the long run, this way was more suitable. Sion didn't have the time to properly try to bypass the distance between them right now, so more rather keeping it and working like that might be more effective. ...After all, in the end, no matter what... He was a leader; a person who could accurately assess all he had and work with it as it was. So, steadying his voice even more, he continued. "I'm leading the way. If I go in the wrong direction, correct me. Let me know if I walk too fast for you, too. But, no matter what, stay behind me."

                              There was no possibility of refusal, as this was that Sion again... the one who always felt sure of himself, and knew exactly what he should be doing. As he turned, however, and carefully started to pick a direction a bit away from the river that would take them closer to the road and seemed fairly decent to actually cross through the forest in their condition... There was just one small thing that he thought of which he could at least give to the other. For just one second, right before starting to walk, his head turned half-around and he cast the tiniest glance back over his shoulder. He could, at the very least, confirm...

                              "We're going to Estabul," he said clearly, and maybe, just maybe, his tone for that one single sentence sounded just a tiny bit softer than the rest of what he'd been saying.

                              That didn't last, however. It was so brief, so subtle, and Sion turned away and started to walk so soon after saying it, that it may have actually just been an illusion. To be honest, he was actually quite serious about the whole thing; and he'd probably been so from the start. There was something he knew that likely Ryner would have no idea about; something Sion should have been far more worried about, perhaps, but it just hadn't mattered that much in the face of the other things they were dealing with. ...He had taken note of it, though. Once again, his hand briefly hovered over his side, where that dagger -- that damnable dagger -- was rested in his coat yet again after he'd picked it up and cleaned it last night. He felt far better about the reason this time, however.

                              "Our attackers are still in this forest," he finally added as he walked, at least making mention of it to the other so that he'd know.

                              Last night, while slumped against that tree and not able to sleep, Sion had definitely witnessed a sign of human presence somewhere in the forest. It was on the opposite side of the river from them, so quite a distance away, but the tops of the trees had lit up with a bluish hue for a few moments, drawing his eyes. Even in his half-dazed state... he'd stared at it. That had undoubtedly, with no single trace of a question, come from a magic circle and a spell. No, more than that, he could even clearly identify it as having been Roland magic. He didn't know what the people in question had used it for -- to defend themselves or for some other sort of purpose -- but he doubted they wouldn't still be in there. And he doubted it could have been anything else other than the men who'd attacked them as they traveled, still looking for them. Life wasn't as lucky as that, not with this sort of circumstances. Although, they did have an advantage. Last night, Sion had been too preoccupied otherwise, and too exhausted, to even think of making a fire. In the process, the both of them might have nearly frozen before morning, but it also meant they'd given no sign of their presence. And if those men were that far off in their search, then... That meant they had a solid chance to elude them. That's why he didn't explain further to Ryner. The other was in no state to deal with such things anyway, so keeping an eye out fell to Sion.

                              He stayed on his guard as they walked, attentive to every single rustle of bushes, every tree, and every darker corner of forest they passed by.

                              He couldn't do anything for the other but this.

                              That thought continued to haunt him as they went on, and he kept a carefully slow pace so that Ryner could follow even with an injury like the one he had. They were accompanied by a slight breeze as they moved, and Sion had to admit it felt just a little bit refreshing -- almost calming, even -- as it brushed past his cheeks and shuffled in his hair. Almost as if that breeze wanted to take away all unnecessary pressure for now, and return it at a later time when he could actually afford to prioritize it. As if, right now, it was telling him he should be focusing on that one single thing. Slowly, as everything else became mechanical and turned into reflex -- eyes darting left and right on their own, feet stepping forward one after the other, muscles staying tense and ready to react to anything unforeseen -- that thought was the only thing that didn't. Over and over, Sion felt as if he should be -- as if he could be -- giving just a little bit more to the other. Even if he couldn't comfort Ryner right then... No, even if he may never be able to be the one to comfort him again... Ah, that's right. If Sion had lost that ability, and if he deserved to have lost it, then maybe...

                              "I really should have at least told Ferris about this," he said at some point through their trek, voice as natural as he could have possibly kept it. The next moment, it softened somewhat, and he had to hold in the impulse to look back and see if Ryner reacted. To anything -- the name, the mention, the mere thought of the blonde. "She really has no idea we're here," he continued, almost as if quietly saying unlike me, implying it in silence with that one part he'd actually spoken out loud. "I think by now she's... definitely probably worried."

                              About you.

                              The quiet message was still there, and Sion laughed a little -- tonelessly, dryly, but at least trying to lighten the comments somehow, to give them more tact.

                              "I'll never hear the end of it for dragging you off like this." He kept talking, carefully orchestrating what he was doing. "Ahh, I guess I'm in trouble. If Ferris thinks of revenge, even I might be in a really bad pinch."

                              As if nothing had happened at all -- for a second, as if he was really just his usual, natural self -- Sion even completed the words with a small shudder that implied fear of the merciless, beautiful swordswoman's wrath. Which, under normal circumstances, would have probably really been the case.

                              Right now, however, that wasn't what this was about. Sion was mentioning Ferris like this, because... She could probably do what he couldn't. Because she was probably the only thing left which could break even a little bit through Ryner's shields at the moment. If the other figured out that Ferris hadn't been in on what happened even the slightest bit... If he realized that Ferris truly didn't know Sion had taken Ryner with him and had absolutely no awareness of what might have happened here between them... Even a little, the other might start hoping again. He might be less inclined to abandon himself so completely. Sion didn't deserve to do that for Ryner anymore -- and he wouldn't be able to, after what happened. But that... as much as it hurt... didn't have to apply to the blond-haired woman. She was guiltless in this; she, alone, was by Ryner's side fully honestly, like Sion obviously hadn't been. It didn't matter if that wasn't fully the truth, as Sion himself couldn't explain. If Ryner believed this, that would be enough.

                              For only a moment, Sion lowered his head... The other couldn't see his face, so he smiled. A gentle, soft, really sad smile, full of a fondness that he couldn't ever express.


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x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S 哀しみのない世界 ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ x
✭ ✭ ✭ xxxx x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ AS I LIE GENTLY THAT IT SOMEHOW EXISTS xxxxxxxxxx
▱ ▱ ▱ 君が気付かないように xx ﹙﹙ x I N x S U C H x A x W A Y x Y O U x W O N ' T x N O T I C E x ﹚﹚ xx ▱ ▱ ▱ 包んであげたい 僕が盾になる xx ﹙﹙ x I x W A N T x T O x E N V E L O P x Y O U x ﹚﹚ xxxxxxxx
▭ ▭ ▭ x x I'LL BE YOUR SHIELD x x x ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxxxxxxxxxxx
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Plane Between Planes's avatar

Star Seeker

15,050 Points
  • Inquisitor 200
  • Love Machine 150
  • Hive Mind 200
User Imagexxxxxxx

x 君 の 手 を 握 り し め x ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
↓ ↓ ↓ xx T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x ▾ ▿ ▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ xxxx
▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ I'D LIKE TO SEE FOR HOW LONG I CAN STOP TIME LIKE THIS ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxx
▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x xxxxx
x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x xxxxxx
▪▪ x 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 xx ⋮⋮ xx 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 x ▪▪xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬x ↱↱ A TRANQUIL MEMORY FROM BEFORE BEING BORN x▬ ▬ xxx


                              I genuinely care about you. What Sion would have wanted to be able to say. And... Ferris genuinely cares about you. What he had actually been saying to Ryner, in the end.

                              Every single moment of this was incredibly painful.

                              It was probably even more painful when, as he'd expected -- or maybe, for once, he hadn't been sure enough to expect it, but he'd been merely strongly hoping for it -- there was a response from the other to this new turn in the conversation. Ryner's voice was definitely still broken, but even if only so very slightly... Sion thought he heard it pick up. Even now, he vividly remembered the fond expression he'd seen on his friend's face when he'd asked about Ferris last night. No, not only that. He remembered the things that had determined him to ask, too. The closeness he'd noticed between the two when they returned from their travels; the concern and interest they subtly had for each other; the way they'd fallen into a joint pace, like true, natural partners. Despite what sort of odd interaction may have taken place between the two on the surface of things, and how Ferris might beat up Ryner, drag him off, and accuse him of various ridiculous stories and things she made up, deep down the two were extremely fond of each other. Sion could see that much, and he had kept all of it in mind -- no matter how much it had always triggered some sort of anxiety within him, almost making it feel somehow, ridiculously enough, like he might be abandoned completely by both of them if more time passed by. He still remembered. And that's why he could now cling to that straw. It came to mind so easily, like a logical choice -- Ferris. Ferris was able to do what he couldn't. If there was a hand that was able to pull Ryner back from the depths of the darkness right then, it wasn't Sion's. It was that of the extremely beautiful, almost emotionless woman who stood cleanly away from the events of last night -- who stood only by Ryner's side, in all honesty, with no obstacles. Ferris, who wasn't held back by the sort of thing Sion knew, and the sort of thing he held within himself, and who could truly act in accordance to only her own personal feelings.

                              She could save Ryner. And so, even though his chest felt like it might burst any moment, Sion continued on with that softest of smiles and matched up his tone.

                              "Indeed, that sounds exactly like what Ferris might say," he replied, subtly encouraging Ryner's initial response. Ever so lightly, ever so naturally, as if nothing at all were happening. "Heh... You really do know her well."

                              No sadness, he reminded himself, no nervous emotions; only a mild, impartial, approving sort of amusement. He was Sion Astal, after all; the Hero King. If he could put on such a flawless act in font of an army, then he should certainly be able to do it in front of just one single, pathetically broken man. As long as nothing that would harm what he was trying to do could be read...

                              But it wasn't really working. In the end, not even this would help, it seemed.

                              Gradually, Sion's steps faltered. Caught in his own musings, Ryner probably didn't notice at first that, from where he'd initially lowered his head, the silver-haired male only slowly let it drop more as he listened. He kept his gaze fixed on the ground, that sort of smile he'd managed to give to himself to keep his emotions somewhat in check visibly fading from his lips. The other couldn't see any of this -- because Sion wasn't showing him. He kept his face pointedly away from Ryner, frowning more as he scoured the trees around them and gave his attention only to the irregular path they traveled. He adjusted the direction gradually as Ryner had instructed him earlier, and it seemed really like he might be ignoring the other completely. But... There was definitely a change. Earlier, he'd been walking steadily, making progress. He was carefully bypassing trees, and moving ever ahead. ...Now, as he listened to the words that came so quietly from Ryner -- those really accepting, terminal words which really thought Sion couldn't read the weariness from them as much as he could have from moves of the body -- his steps slowed and his eyes quietly closed. Like that, walking only a little more, feeling his way past trees with one hand and going at a pace even Ryner with his injuries might have easily surpassed, he listened.

                              Not even Ferris would help...

                              Even after he'd gone through the trouble of orchestrating things like this for him... Ryner had to be kidding him. There should have been a reaction; there should have been a real response, not something like this. Very quietly, and still all of a sudden despite the growing signs of it, Sion came to a stop. His hand remained on the last tree it had found, fingers half-curled over the bark, touching it softly and resting on it. Even like this, with his back completely turned on the other, the signs of tension might have been obvious -- in his shoulders which slowly arched just a little, and in his slightly lowered head which rested completely still. Almost as if he was patiently waiting -- waiting for something he cared nothing about to move past, so that he could go back to what was important. Something he had no patience for, it might seem, as he didn't show any signs of objections, but was simply eerily still. Unnaturally silent and motionless, just like the calm before the raging peak of a storm. ...But Sion was not a storm. Never the storm, but only that unnatural silence. Always the silence, as he listened until the very end.

                              His eyes drifted quietly open as Ryner finished what he'd been rambling about.

                              "Are you done talking about stupid things?" he asked -- in that cold, cold, sort of voice; cutting, almost, and completely devoid of emotion. A voice that would truly silence the other. "Or do you really think I'll have no say in those matters?" He truly, really sounded like he might even be ridiculing the other; as if, in his mind, Sion was disgusted right then, by Ryner's lack of understanding of things, by his ignorance. "Everything will depend on what I say, Ryner. Including what roles you and I had in all of this."

                              At that moment, he may have honestly, truly, been cruel to the other. It was definitely harsh. Mercilessly harsh.

                              But that wasn't Sion's aim; it was only the means.

                              Because I'll save you.

                              From the same thing as he'd always been trying to do. Ryner had always been sunken in a very dark place, isolated away from the world -- by what others had done to him, yes, but also by himself; the Ryner who had grown tired of this world that didn't want him and that couldn't accept him. Sion knew that. From the first time they'd met, he'd probably known it. And, in knowing it, he had wanted to pull Ryner from there. With his own two hands, he had wanted to drag the other back out, and save him from that darkness. Even now, all of that hadn't changed. Even if he had to kill Ryner, whom he cared for more than he would for the rest of the world put together... If that was what it took to make things better for the other, he'd been willing to do it. And now, even if he was the one who'd cast the other back into that darkness by lacking the strength to finish what he'd begun... He'd still pull him out yet again. With everything it took, he'd bring Ryner back from where he was sinking.

                              ...Are you saying you'll refuse?

                              The silver-haired male had never taken 'no' for an answer. No matter how many times Ryner had turned away from him, claiming he was going to sleep, or giving cutting comments meant to distance him and send him away, Sion hadn't known giving up.

                              I won't acknowledge that. It doesn't matter to me.

                              There was no such thing as refusing, for this. Ryner should understand that already. No matter how far he escaped, or how fully he turned away from Sion, he'd always try to force him back. If he himself couldn't reach Ryner anymore, then that didn't matter. He'd cast away what was useless, and do this with everything he still had. If he couldn't personally get there, then... Even if it hurt so unbelievably much, he'd even use others. He'd be the one to point out the truth to the other, and show him another place to go to, no matter what. Even if the other couldn't tell it was him, and even if others should be what truly finished the process, then that was fine too.

                              Even if it's not with these hands, I will save you.

                              Pulling his hand from the tree, Sion looked at it for a moment before very quietly turning around. That brief expression, right then, had been full of a sadness that had no margins or limits. But that was all it took; one single moment, for him to change back into steel. Hand back by his side, he lifted his head just a bit to look straight a Ryner. A powerful, piercing sort of gaze, with those golden eyes at their sharpest. They didn't express anything, except the same firm determination that Sion had always had when he believed in things -- when he was ready to stake what he could on an end.

                              "If that's what you so badly wanted to know, then I'll tell you," he continued, with the same cutting tone. "There are people who know where I've gone. Two of them."

                              Lucile Eris. It was doubtful that he would have truly done anything, as it wasn't at all like that man with completely unreadable thoughts to lift even a finger over matters like these. The blond-haired, mysterious, extremely powerful and deadly male who ran the Eris household and served as the king's personal guard was really more of an observer, who only very rarely got truly involved. His duties only covered one thing -- the absolute, flawless guard of the King of Roland while within the borders of his own country. Sion hadn't traded a single word with that guard of his about where he was going, only about sending Ferris for as long as was needed, just like the other had so conveniently requested at such a time. But Lucile saw everything; he knew everything that went on. He had doubtlessly known exactly where Sion had been up until the very moment the carriage left Roland's borders. And, although Lucile wouldn't do a thing... If Ferris asked, he'd probably tell her. And then... Miran Froaude. Sion's assistant of sorts, cold and calculated and flawlessly analytical, who always seemed to be one step ahead of everything else. There was no way Sion could have hidden his departure from him, so he hadn't even tried; he'd personally told the other where he was going, as the black-haired male would even prove to be a significant aid in keeping things quiet at the castle while Sion was gone. There was nobody more efficient than that one at silencing matters and pulling everything back in order. If it had been Claugh, a whole regimen from the military might be moving to search for Sion right about now, but if it was that one... There'd probably only be some sort of small, elite team who worked in absolute secrecy, or something like that? Sion couldn't tell exactly, but that didn't matter. Those were the only two people who knew where he'd gone -- aside from whoever had spotted him and dispatched these well-prepared attackers, obviously. Of course, the fact remained he may have suspected any of the two of treason and assumed either could be behind this, but... Sion hadn't gotten this far on not knowing how to choose his closest subordinates. He was one-hundred-percent able to rule out such possibilities from either of them.

                              But there was no need for Ryner to know more than just what he'd said. Instead...

                              "More rather than that sort of thing," he continued, eying the other even more sharply than before. "Are you really fine with this?" It was almost as if Sion were angry right then, somehow, in some subdued fashion that he wasn't truly showing. "Leaving me aside here... Ferris is different."

                              The tone on that last sentence was matter-of-fact, indicating that Sion was stating only the truth. His gaze stayed fixed on Ryner with those same narrowed eyes, which didn't contain the slightest trace of a joke or a lie or anything of the sort. Yes, Ferris was different from Sion. It was just as he'd said. The girl had never once seriously tried to kill Ryner. She'd also, all along, been by his side. She'd also accepted him as he was, no questions asked. And, more importantly, she'd never betrayed him; not even once. Unlike what Sion had done, Ferris had never turned on Ryner. Ferris was strong -- she had the ability to believe, in both herself and in others, with absolutely every small part of herself. With all of her heart. Sion didn't have that sort of strength; not with the things he knew, and the things he held within him. And... Leaving me aside. If that's what it took to save the other -- if he had to imply that he'd never been as honest as Ferris at all, by comparison -- then he'd do it. Even if it drove Ryner fully away, and broke the bond between them completely, he'd do it. That was fine, wasn't it?

                              ...From the very beginning, Sion had known there'd be nobody to stand by his side. Not in the same place as he. He was surrounded by so many people -- some of which were only subordinates or associates, like Lucile or Froaude, who knew what was happening but whom he couldn't find comfort with no matter what; even if he were to try. Others of which, like Claugh and Calne, Lady Noa and Eslina... would really be called friends, by contrast; friends who were together with him and held genuine feelings... But who had no idea of what was truly going on in Sion's real world. Even Ferris and Ryner had no idea. In the end, all along, Sion had stood alone -- the Hero King of Roland who, single-handed, shouldered the truth of the world that nobody else had any idea about. And so... it was fine if he lost the last person who had been closest to him. The last person who'd truly known part of his heart. Sion had already lost everyone else to his own mistakes. If Ryner also left because of that same sort of thing, he'd probably still be fine. As long as the other was out of that darkness, he'd still continue to walk forward.

                              ...That was all there was to it. No hesitation.

                              "She's serious about it," he quietly added. "So tell me, Ryner. What will you do? Are you going to trample all over that? All over her feelings?"

                              Calmly, in a more reserved, but still dead serious fashion, he repeated his earlier question with firm intonation.

                              "Are you really, truly, fine with that?"

                              You would absolutely, undoubtedly, never be able to do such a thing.

                              With those confident eyes, it was almost as if Sion was daring the other. With the full certainty of a man who knew exactly what Ryner was capable of... and also what he wouldn't be able to do, not even if he convinced himself to try a thousand times. That was how secure Sion felt of the situation -- and that's how he sounded. He really was challenging Ryner -- challenging him to prove Sion wrong, because he knew that the other never could. Ryner was far too gentle. Once faced with things in a manner like this, he'd never be able to keep up those walls that he so carefully built. He'd never be able to stand by and not care anymore with such a thing on the line. Even if it wasn't for Sion's own sake -- even if he no longer had the ability or the influence over the other, because he'd lost that right along with how much pain he'd caused Ryner -- he still had the same weapon as ever. Flawless reason, which couldn't be disputed at all.

                              ...However, before he could even confirm his victory or even an ounce of success, Sion suddenly flinched, eyes flicking quickly to the side.

                              "Ryner," he called to the other, voice suddenly different -- urgent, and hushed.

                              He didn't even wait, but simply darted over in only one second, one hand finding the other's arm and the other his opposite shoulder, with no time for being gentle or considerate for the brown-haired male's injured state. Sion pushed him back as quickly as he could, against the nearest tree, pressing himself right along over him. Like that, he kept Ryner trapped there, pulling his head low and shielding both his own and the other's with his arm -- all in the time it took for one breath, or maybe the blink of an eye. The way they were now, they were really tightly packed together, with Ryner caught between the trunk and Sion, who continued to pin him there with all the strength he could possibly muster, chests so closely rested that he had to take in air simultaneously with the other exhaling if he wanted to be able to do so. His head was bowed low, face buried into Ryner's shoulder, the other's pulled into a similar position against Sion's neck by the hand that had earlier grabbed his shoulder. Definitely, without the single trace of a doubt, this was the sort of thing that only one day ago would have had every single drop of his blood racing madly through his veins and his heart almost stopping in his chest. Even now, with everything that was piled on top of this gesture, feeling the other's breath even just slightly over his skin froze him in place. But there were far more pressing matters that kept that at bay. There wasn't even any time to think about that, as a mere couple of seconds after they crashed into their spot, an arrow lodged itself cleanly with a dull sound in the wood of the tree, painfully close to their heads -- and even more so to having crossed around where their heads had been only moments before. The other may have been far more adept at spotting magic than Sion, and not only because of those cursed eyes that he bore, but also in general... But, when it came to weapons of any sort, Sion was definitely the far more experienced one. He knew how to recognize the twinge of a bowstring when he heard it.

                              "Well, well," the low, calm voice of a man admiringly interjected from somewhere in the bushes on the other side. "Who would've thought?"

                              "After all the trouble we went through," another laughed from a slight distance away. "They end up stumbling straight into camp."

                              Tch, they'd really been blind and ran straight into the enemy!? There was no time to waste.

                              Moving from his spot just as quickly as he'd done it before, Sion slipped away and pulled Ryner along -- this time just by the wrist, hiding with him fully around the tree, as far as they hadn't managed to go in the short time he'd previously had to work with. Another arrow probably lodged itself into the tree, even more harmlessly than the first one, but...

                              Unfortunately, this wasn't their lucky day.

                              On this side as well, a tall man dressed fully in black waited for them, magic spell at the ready. They moved fast. The circle was now fully drawn in the air as the assailant traced the last line, and Sion cursed himself for not having noticed the light from it earlier -- now all that was left was the incantation, which had probably been held back this far so they wouldn't notice the man. Sion had no idea if Ryner, who was far more perceptive to this sort of thing due to his eyes and experience, had managed to see the circle before this, and maybe even prepared. There was no time to find out. He merely continued to pull at the other's wrist, desperately starting to dash against the few seconds they had until the man finished speaking the words. It was originally supposed to be running together -- it should have been, but Sion stumbled as something cracked under his foot, and he lost his grip on Ryner's wrist despite fingers that clawed rather desperately to grip back on. He crashed to his knees first, and then, as if luck really wasn't on their side that day, he happened to find a slope. Slipping further before he could even so much as wince from the pain of the fall, Sion crashed all the way down the slight inclination of ground, into a tree.

                              This wasn't like yesterday, though. There was no speeding carriage to fall from, and the slope wasn't that abrupt or that long, either. The impact he suffered was much more tolerable, and although there was definitely the loud crack of bones in one of his legs, he ignored it and pitifully pulled himself back up to see what was happening. Supported by a tree stump and the half-rotten trunk that had crashed down from it a long time ago, he managed to shakily drag himself to his feet. He could have probably taken this chance to escape, but there wasn't single thought of that in his head.

                              His head lifted immediately, looking desperately for any traces of Ryner.

                              Damn it. Damn it. Sion was powerless...!


♔ ♔ ♔ -------------------- xx ↴ ↴ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S 哀しみのない世界 ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ x
✭ ✭ ✭ xxxx x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ AS I LIE GENTLY THAT IT SOMEHOW EXISTS xxxxxxxxxx
▱ ▱ ▱ 君が気付かないように xx ﹙﹙ x I N x S U C H x A x W A Y x Y O U x W O N ' T x N O T I C E x ﹚﹚ xx ▱ ▱ ▱ 包んであげたい 僕が盾になる xx ﹙﹙ x I x W A N T x T O x E N V E L O P x Y O U x ﹚﹚ xxxxxxxx
▭ ▭ ▭ x x I'LL BE YOUR SHIELD x x x ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxxxxxxxxxxx
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Plane Between Planes's avatar

Star Seeker

15,050 Points
  • Inquisitor 200
  • Love Machine 150
  • Hive Mind 200
User Imagexxxxxxx

x 君 の 手 を 握 り し め x ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
↓ ↓ ↓ xx T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x ▾ ▿ ▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ xxxx
▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ I'D LIKE TO SEE FOR HOW LONG I CAN STOP TIME LIKE THIS ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxx
▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x xxxxx
x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x xxxxxx
▪▪ x 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 xx ⋮⋮ xx 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 x ▪▪xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬x ↱↱ A TRANQUIL MEMORY FROM BEFORE BEING BORN x▬ ▬ xxx


                              Sion's luck was that the trees and a tall bush he'd somehow managed to miss when he tumbled seemed to hide him from the immediate sights of their attackers. He could still clearly hear every sharp voice that came from the top of the slope, echoing over to him, so he wasted no time in further concealing himself when he heard the command for pursuit. Skidding past the bush and finding the thick tree-trunk it clung to, he crouched low, perfectly nestled in a nook from where he was sure not even the tiniest bit of him could be spotted. However, even from there, he was restless, and he'd continue to be... Until that one very precious thing that he'd left behind was also safe. Even though the need for air was pressing, he held his breath as much as he could, keeping perfectly still and listening for the smallest of signs as he hoped. He hoped as much as he could that he was wrong, and... Ryner. Sion was sure the other had tumbled right down with him, but seconds passed and there hadn't been any sign of Ryner also crashing down the same slope. No, instead there was...

                              Izuchi.

                              A spell, clearly spoken in the other's voice.

                              As the clear blast of electrical energy struck something and reached his ears, Sion flinched, his eyes widening slightly in fear. Or maybe that was the wrong way to define it. It was fear, yes, but not for himself; it was a gripping panic about the state of the other. Concern, or maybe deep worry, which had him only one thought away from just mindlessly bursting out of his hiding spot to check what had happened. He couldn't stay here. He couldn't sneak around like this when Ryner was there, and his life was in danger. Yes, Sion himself had tried to kill him last night, but that was irrelevant. Inexplicably, now, there wasn't a single tiny part of himself that could agree with the thought of Ryner dying up there. There wasn't even a small fragment that even managed to think it might be better that way -- that it actually went in accordance with what Sion wanted. Because... Because... Ryner couldn't die in that sort of condition. He couldn't leave Sion behind with that sort of unsolved misconception between them. The silver-haired male wouldn't allow it.

                              Acting with desperation from those frantic thoughts, he carefully moved, continuing around the tree and slipping quickly to the next one. There was no sign of pursuit... Although that relieved him in part, in an immediate sense, it did nothing to comfort Sion. Because it meant that Ryner had distracted their attackers -- that their attention right then was fully on him. And there was no way that, in that sort of condition, even someone as skilled as Ryner truly was (despite not showing it very often) could do anything to save himself from a number of skilled assassins. Skilled enough to have been sent after the king's life... Damn it. Damn it. Damn it all, this was only Sion's fault. If he hadn't been such an idiot, if he hadn't let his feelings get the better of him... Yes, that's right. This was the sort of reason why he should never do that. This kind of thing was why the King of Roland shouldn't even be able to hold attachment to anything or anyone. Because, if he did... Invariably, those things would be targeted and placed in the face of danger. All just to get to him. All just to obtain the true target -- Sion Astal. It wasn't worth it. His life wasn't worth that many people suffering instead. It wasn't what he wanted, either. He hadn't wanted his close subordinates and those that they cared for to be targeted as an attempt to intimidate him and manipulate his decisions. He didn't wish to draft anyone into the different, dangerous sort of world that he truly stood in. And, perhaps more importantly than anything else... He didn't want Ryner to get hurt, when all those men really sought was to kill him, to kill Sion, and had no actual involvement or business with the Alpha Stigma bearer himself.

                              As he suddenly stopped, Sion closed his eyes for a second and took a deep breath. He was panicking. He was definitely panicking, and something like that couldn't be allowed. If he made any sort of mistake here, Ryner would truly be dead. It didn't matter that Sion would also lose his life, it only mattered that his friend would be dragged into it right along.

                              Sion had no way of knowing, but his thoughts at the moment were probably really similar to what had gone through Ryner's own head up there, when he stayed to protect Sion instead of trying to run.

                              It took all the effort that he was capable of, but he stopped himself from going up there -- from showing himself in a desperate attempt to save Ryner from getting killed. Because... Because, in the end, Sion knew that his friend wouldn't die. That wasn't what those men were going to do to him... because Ryner hadn't been their true target. Their real goal was Sion, so the other would stay alive as long as they could hope to use him in order to get to the king. This was the rational, logical, cold truth of the matter. Ryner would become a tool in order to get to him -- to reach Sion. It was his fault. It was definitely his fault. ...But at least the other was alive. The other would be alive as long as Sion didn't reveal himself. The moment he did so, they'd really kill him. That was why... Pressing a hand to his chest, it was almost as if Sion was forcing his heart to still itself, begging it to stop racing. He couldn't afford to panic like this, and he couldn't give in to this fear which would ultimately lead him to do something stupid. No matter how much his emotions frantically gave birth to doubts, and to fears, and to uncertainties... His mind, rationally and logically, knew the truth. That was why he couldn't listen to impulses. This was why he should have never been listening to feelings, even if it was Ryner... Ryner, who somehow always managed to be the exception to that.

                              Just this once, Sion couldn't allow it.

                              ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰


                              Somehow, he'd managed to track the group to their camp without attracting attention. If he thought back on it, even now Sion still found it kind of a miracle that he'd managed. There were so many times that breath had stopped in his chest along with the louder snap of a branch, or when he startled a bird and it flew off with a strangled cry of distress, or when he accidentally stumbled on a rock and nearly crashed. He really had next to zero experience with sneaking through forests like this -- or so he'd thought, even though the training they all had received at the Special Military Royal Academy basically covered all sorts of terrain, and even one of the important tests that they'd gone through not long after Sion met Ryner had involved such a setting. It didn't matter if, due to Sion's ingenious directions, they'd made short work of that and won. That sort of thing was really different from this. Then, the training was still fresh in his mind, and he'd been up against other students -- young boys and girls of roughly the same age he was, still green and actually inexperienced. These men were professionals, who probably did this on a regular basis, and Sion's fieldwork and time (or even need) to train things like these was almost non-existent on the average day. As they finally came to a small clearing in the middle of which the remains of a fire still remained visible on a patch of ground which had been stripped free of grass, Sion almost couldn't believe that they still seemed oblivious to his presence. It was true, though, that they'd been mostly busy talking to each other on the way back, and from the couple of sentences he'd actually managed to make out more clearly, it seemed he was right. They planned to use Ryner -- so they probably didn't feel the need to be on the lookout for him to begin with. They probably expected Sion to fall into their hands by himself, anyway, without them having to bother.

                              But Sion couldn't do that. He wasn't going to let himself be caught, no matter what, because... Because, if he did, they'd really kill Ryner.

                              That thought had remained, and his chest tightened with worry every time it returned to the front. And so, powerless to do anything else, he'd quietly sat himself down in the shadow of another large tree, and watched carefully through the bushes for what he could see of the camp. As far as he'd been able to count, there were six men in total -- the one who'd been giving instructions all along had to be their leader of sorts, and the other five followed. One of them seemed to be injured, as there was a visible bandage on one of his arms, and Sion wondered if it was one Ryner had injured during the carriage chase, or it might have had something to do with why they used magic last night, when he had caught sight of it. He felt extremely weak, but really, all he could do... was pretty much wait here and see what would happen. His mind worked frantically, trying to come up with some sort of plan... But there was nothing. Nothing at all that he, injured and tired as he was right now, or even had he been at full capacity, could have done against this sort of numbers. He didn't know. Sion truly didn't know, and the more he thought of it, the more he was overtaken by a hopeless sort of concern. At this rate... would he end up abandoning Ryner to these men and running away to save his own life? He couldn't do that. He was very aware he'd never be able to do that.

                              "He's waking up!"

                              That call from one of them drew his attention, and he peered carefully from behind the tree to see what was happening. The leader of the five seemed to rise, from where he'd so far sat down in the middle and seemingly gone through a bag for some object or other as the lot of them laughed and made more jokes that Sion lacked the context to understand. Suddenly, all of them fell silent as that tall, rather imposing man with sharp, inelegant features and an extremely experienced look about him moved over to where they'd dropped Ryner, hands tied behind his back. Sion shifted a little, crawling away on all fours as quietly as he could, to find an angle from which a favorable opening in the bushes would allow him to see. ...There it was. He stopped, breath held in his throat, as his eyes fell upon the pitiful form of his friend, slumped in his spot and barely moving his head to look at the captor who had approached him and crouched to his level. Too close. Every muscle in Sion's body tensed in response, almost as if readying for an attack on the man to defend from whatever he intended, the way Ryner couldn't right then. But it was useless, of course. From this distance, there was nothing he could do, and even had he been closer... He was too weak. His powerlessness had yet again gotten someone he cared for involved, and about to be killed. Maybe he should just give up too. There was no way Sion could save Ryner, after all -- he wasn't strong enough to save even a single person. So he shouldn't even try.

                              And yet... He couldn't do that.

                              Eyebrows drawn into a deep frown, Sion quietly gritted his teeth and continued to watch with sharp, stubborn eyes. He could hear every word that the man said to Ryner -- as well as his friend's fake bravery of a response, which was really a lot like Ryner. He probably had no sense of self-worth, so he wouldn't hold back from that sort of irritating, infuriating response. Because he didn't treasure his safety. A dull sort of protest rose up in Sion's chest yet again, as he helplessly witnessed everything from his spot. The leader of the assailants was definitely angry, his patience short for such things. Sion flinched, as he could do nothing but watch the man's boot lodge itself cleanly into Ryner's side as he kicked the bound, much slimmer, injured male. Absently, the silver-haired male's hand traced his own side as his eyes stayed on Ryner, almost as if he could feel his friend's pain -- or maybe he wished he could have? ...Yes. That's right. If Sion could have taken that hit in the other's place, if he could have taken all of that pain upon himself, he would have. There was nothing he would have wished for more strongly right then, his features fully overtaken by helplessness, while he watched Ryner struggle to steady himself. Even though he couldn't. The man wouldn't let him.

                              Of course. That's what this was about.

                              Call out to Sion.

                              Why not?

                              Do it.

                              A muffled sound almost escaped Sion's throat as he held back the impulse to shout at Ryner to just betray him and do it. Maybe, if Ryner truly called out to Sion and asked him to come out of hiding, and then Sion didn't show up... The men would let him go. A pained smile flashed briefly on Sion's lips as he thought that. If only... If only things worked that way. They'd probably kill him if something like that happened. And besides, the other would never do it. Sion knew it -- Ryner would never ask for him, like these men seemed to think. But even so... If he heard Ryner's voice, calling for him even once, Sion would definitely not be able to stay hidden. He'd just give up on any stupidly stubborn hope or expectation he still had, and stand up right there, walking out of those bushes. He'd have no regrets for it probably, either, aside from not being able to save Ryner. As he sat there, silently drawing his knees under him and getting ready to pull himself up for real, that's the sort of realization that dawned upon him. That he really... actually wouldn't mind dying here, if only it could at least mean he'd save the other. Even though Sion really actually couldn't die. Too many things depended on him... He couldn't afford such a thing, right? Ha ha... It didn't matter right then. It really didn't matter.

                              Because Ryner was giving that sort of response.

                              Somehow, the words of his friend reached Sion's ears more clearly than anything else out of everything that had been spoken so far. That broken, hollow sort of answer, chilled him to the very bone, and his hands balled into fists by his side. The injured one still hurt -- although not as much as last night -- but he didn't mind it right then. It was as if those words had some sort of magic of their own, and they trapped him, unable to focus on anything but what he was hearing. His lips parted slightly, almost as if he'd have liked to reply, quietly, even from there... But there was nothing he could think to actually say. He could only listen like that, just as powerless as before.

                              ...And give a sudden start as Ryner's voice was cut with a pained sound.

                              What happened next was probably pretty drawn out, but to him, it might have as well just been only one moment. One single, frozen moment that encompassed everything he was seeing. Ryner, drawn up uncomfortably like that, against his will. The man's hand drawing up blood from the wound on the brown-haired male's chest, and tracing it over his cheek, smearing it there in plain sight. Every single gasp and twitch from the bearer of the Alpha Stigma, obviously at the end of his strength, and unable to do a single thing to save himself. ...Yes, that was probably the worst part. Ryner couldn't do anything to help himself. If things continued like this...

                              No.

                              Sion was denying it with every single ounce of strength he could muster.

                              Ryner can't die.

                              No, it was more than that. Ryner shouldn't be hurt anymore. He'd already suffered enough. He didn't deserve this. Sion knew... He knew better than anyone, because it was his fault. Even that wound that was currently being exploited like that was his fault. Everything that the man was talking about as he shouted out for Sion... All of it, he was responsible for. No one but he. Even that uncomfortable closeness in which the man held Ryner, making some strong surge of anger cross Sion almost like an electric shock... All of it was only his fault. That's why... That was exactly how it was. The man was right. There was no way Sion could call Ryner 'his', not in the slightest. He didn't have the right to do that at all.

                              However...

                              It was as if suddenly, everything snapped. The world itself broke around him.

                              In that whole world, there had been just one thing that he couldn't abandon. One person he'd still tried to protect, even though he knew those hands couldn't reach him -- even though Sion was aware of his own weakness which couldn't really save anyone. It was all hopeless... He'd known that too well. But he just couldn't stop trying to reach out and grasp just that one single person. From the bottom of his heart, he'd wanted to save him. And now... That one so important thing in the world was being tarnished by the hands of nothing but a common murderer.

                              That was why, the world itself could go to hell.

                              Quietly, in one move, Sion stood up.

                              Ryner's reply raced through his head all along, echoing and repeating itself. Even if I call out, he's not going to come. It's probably better for him if I'm dead. I'm not his precious companion. Those words, over and over, drew circles through his mind as he advanced, carefully brushing branches aside as he opened a path through the bushes to come out plainly into the clearing. There were six men there? It didn't matter. They were going to kill him? It didn't matter. Nothing mattered, but Ryner.

                              Sion's head was held low as he stepped forward, not even looking at anything but the ground. It was pointless to look, after all. He already knew that everyone's eyes were probably on him, and maybe these men, right now, even tasted victory for seeing him like this. Because he was definitely defeated, expression dark, and shoulders sagged in self-abandon. Hair fell in his face, covering it from view, as only a slight smile with no reason or cause fleetingly crossed his lips.

                              "Right here," he said; Sion's voice felt firm as he spoke, but the depth of it was definitely, somehow, hollow. Calmer than it should be. "I'm right here, so you can come and get me. No matter how you look at it, that's who you want. Ryner is..." He cut himself there, stopping short as he seemingly wavered. If only a little, his voice softened, as he seemed to notice that the leader of the group had at least let go of his captive. He'd finally... finally let him rest. Sion had done at least that. So, he softly smiled a bit longer. "Ryner... is an idiot. A naive, gentle idiot."

                              That's why I...

                              Carefully, Sion's head rose to look at the man who'd attacked them. With no exception, every single one's attention was on him; even in this sort of state -- or maybe precisely because he was in this sort of state -- Sion still had a sway on people. He spoke, and they looked; they followed his words, and noticed his presence, just because he was there. Because he had that sort of power. However, his eyes went through them in the end. They stared far into the trees, and the slight darkness they created as they blocked out the sun. Because there... Right there, the face that he sought could look back at him, with eyes that reflected his own sadness, unmasked and completely honest. These men probably couldn't tell, as Sion only continued to smile, but surely... If Ryner had looked, he would have probably noticed. Because he knew Sion better than everyone else, he would have definitely been able to notice his feelings.

                              "I want to borrow your strength," he quietly said. "Is that fine?"

                              The men traded confused glances with each other as he spoke, and their leader even snorted, about to give some sort of reply. But Sion didn't listen. He wasn't listening, because the only reply he needed...

                              'Yes. It is fine. ...I will lend you all the strength that you need... in order to protect him.'

                              That precious friend.

                              'We will...'

                              It was a firm, unwavering, all-encompassing voice that only he could hear. The voice of someone whose sadness surpassed even his -- and who had surpassed that sadness itself, subduing it and turning it into a natural part of himself. Someone who could continue on even with that terrible, burdening feeling. ...That voice added itself to Sion's own. That entire existence overlapped onto him... Because that existence was him. They were one, inseparable, impossible to discern from each other.

                              "What are you waiting for?" the leader of the five men snapped at his underlings. "Kill him!"

                              They'd all seemed to reach the same conclusion, however. In the time that Sion had been eerily still, waiting for his reply, they'd realized that he wasn't really doing a thing. That he didn't have the power to harm them in any way, and the the strange, powerful way he'd made his entrance had nothing to back it up. Sion's inner strength -- the willpower that seemed second nature to him, almost is if it was a supernatural power of sorts on its own -- had held them back and confused them at first, but that had quickly worn off. Two of them had already pulled out knives, while a third was starting to cast. Sion didn't look at the rest. He didn't because right then...

                              It didn't matter. These insignificant, worthless men who lived by murdering others for money...

                              Sion's hand rose slowly by his side, like a signal. Almost as if, behind him, an army waited as usual to take his commands and move forward for him, crushing any enemy that stood ahead. But there was no army. Instead, reality itself seemed to bend to his will. By the force of Sion's willpower alone, the world was opening it seemed, as one after another several rifts formed in the air to reveal... only darkness. Nothing but boundless, interminable darkness that seemed like it would swallow the world, were it to be set free. But it was contained. Only portions slipped out through the small rifts that the call of Sion's hand had commanded to open, and from one of them, he grabbed firmly onto that darkness. His skin glowed with red as he touched it, a brilliant crimson flame trickling up the solid darkness in his hand as he pulled it to himself... and it slowly formed, shaping itself out from the chaos it came from, and becoming a sword. A black, unnatural sword, engulfed by a low, subtle red flame.

                              From the other rifts, the darkness simply seeped out, flowing away and flicking through the air like smoke. Like solid, material smoke with sharp edges, which couldn't be stopped or blocked by anything in its path.

                              "What the hell is that!?" one of the men shouted.

                              "What kind of magic is--- guahhhh-----"

                              It wasn't magic.

                              The second's voice was lost in an unintelligible gurgle as one of the quick, unwavering tendrils of smoke-like matter pierced cleanly through his throat, with a violent splatter of blood. The other four men visibly faltered, eyes wide, and taking steps back. Sion had to at least give credit to them, however; they were definitely professionals, as the one who was casting didn't lose his spell from the shock. Instead, after a moment of pause, he continued to draw it, finding enough voice in himself to carefully utter the words. ...But that single second of pause was more than enough. As steadily as he could, Sion gripped the hilt of the black sword, and as the bright bolt of light -- the same sort which had hit their carriage back then -- erupted from the man's hands, he charged straight into it. Eyes narrowed, expression sharp and steely, he didn't hesitate for even a moment as he brought the black blade steadily in front, cutting through the spell. It was a rather amazing spectacle to witness, almost as if with just the strength of his willpower, the king was defeating the wave of energy that he crossed, and splitting it cleanly in half. He wasn't pushed back for even a second, only continuing forward, and angling the blade as he finished. ...One slice was all it took; one secure move and the caster's head, with the terrified expression still on his face, was cleanly severed from his shoulders.

                              Blood splattered everywhere, even on Sion's clothes and in his hair -- even on his face.

                              But he paid no mind to any of that, as he simply turned his attention on the spot of the leader. By then, that one was also casting a spell, along with one other. This was definitely a pinch... But Sion still didn't waver. The same absolute, serious expression on his face, he brought the blade cleanly in front, as the sharp, angled trails of darkness made short work of the other two men somewhere behind him. He didn't even so much as pay them a single second of attention, instead pointing that sharp, completely merciless gaze upon the ones at the front. As Sion lifted the blade, just like he had hoped -- no, he had expected, since Sion right now wouldn't allow any mistakes -- one of the two faltered. He reached a block in his spell, creating an opening -- two seconds, or less, but that much would be his death, as Sion had no hesitation at all. Not even that long. Pushing himself with one foot, and almost half-stumbling forward, he easily found his balance again in the weight of the sword in his hands; Rahel Miller's training seemed to rush through his head all at once. Swinging the weapon yet again, he lowered it perfectly, flawlessly, with no waste of movement, the tip piercing straight through the man's chest as the blast of the leader's spell flashed past them, behind Sion, and harmlessly bounded into the trees. Freeing his weapon, the silver-haired male turned cleanly to him.

                              The only one of six men still alive.

                              In only mere seconds.

                              Right then, covered in blood, Sion didn't look like a hero at all. He looked like a demon, who stared at his victim, now pale-faced and just as serious as he. It was the face of a man who had understood that he was probably going to die. ...And, maybe, what stood before him was really the demon that Ryner always claimed Sion was.

                              A soft chuckle escaped the silver-haired male's lips as he thought of it.

                              ...And he continued to stare straight at the other, stainless blade in his hand, lowered dangerously by his side. That sword... was truly eerie. No blood stuck to it, as if it hadn't even touched those men that it killed. Behind Sion, as if rallied to that weapon, all of the darkness had gathered and hovered in silence, as if alive and just waiting for a command. Almost like an obedient pet. Sion's eyes narrowed, expression only sharpening more.

                              "It may be true that Ryner doesn't belong to me," he very, very quietly said. "However... He's yours, you say? Ahaha..." There was something definitely broken about that all-too-calm laugh -- something eerie, and silent, that sounded completely unlike real amusement. It sounded more like the extremely sharp, cutting tone that Sion suddenly used next. "What a joke."

                              Without a single sign of insecurity in his moves, he lifted the sword in front of himself yet again. The smoky, deadly trails of black wavered behind him, but as his expression only darkened more, they didn't move from their spot. To his credit, the leader of the assassins, even alone, didn't cower in fear. Instead, he pulled a dagger from his sleeve -- apparently the only weapon he had to defend himself. At the same time, his other hand started casting again, drawing at an impressive pace as he already spoke the words to summon his spell. But Sion wasn't going to hesitate. He wasn't going to wait. He wasn't going to reconsider, or stop, or have even the tiniest shred of mercy. Because... Because, behind this man, there was still Ryner. Ryner, who was probably dying because of him.

                              The spell fizzled as Sion's blade cut cleanly through the circle, disrupting its order. At the same time, however, even though he tried to avoid it, the dagger lodged itself expertly in his arm. The man was a professional after all -- a trained elite. The pain from the wound was sharp, and tore through his muscle, but Sion ignored it. As if there was nothing which could faze him right then. Turning his head to stare straight at the other, he peered into the man's face -- that sharp gold of his eyes almost burning with some hidden sort of flame that slightly melted the color... and would have melted anything that gaze fell on, as well. Unflinching, Sion lunged forward, striking the man's arm as the other lifted it to defend, blade lodging itself halfway through before stopping. And yet... This was no regular sword. As Sion continued to apply pressure, the man's flesh seemed to heat up and softly sizzle, red flames tagging silently onto it... and the blade slipped in deeper. It cut cleanly through that arm, severing it from the body, and continuing on. The tip brushed cleanly against the man's neck, and as Sion angled the weapon, it sank in, tip and blade, as more red sprayed forth all around, covering everything -- almost as if a sea of blood had taken over his vision, almost as if it was everything he'd ever see. It covered his hands, and his arms, and stained the front of his coat completely, and yet... It was nothing. It was nothing because last night, Sion's hands had been stained with the blood of his friend. From the injury that he'd given him with those very hands. That was why... nothing else mattered.

                              As he stepped back, and let the hilt of the sword finally slip from his hands, they fell limply back at his sides and he stumbled. He seemed to lose his balance for a second, as his shoulders sagged, and his head hung low yet again. The truth was... Sion probably hated killing. He probably never wanted to do it. But, if he'd even tried to kill that one person... What did it matter?

                              Before the dead man hit the ground, the sword dissipated softly into thin particles of dust, along with all the darkness behind, and left nothing. Not a single trace of the weapons that had been used to so brutally murder these people.

                              Sion seemed lost. His eyes were just a bit empty as he stared at the red that sipped quickly from the collapsed man before him and stained the ground, and the grass, and the leaves. The same red that covered his clothes. ...But everything was over. Even if that's what it took, it had ended. And there was something precious that he'd wanted to protect -- that they had wanted to defend no matter what. Slowly, he stepped past the body, as if bringing himself to walk with great efforts. He faltered, but didn't stop. he had almost no balance, but still didn't stop. There was no stopping, because...

                              "Ryner doesn't belong to anyone..." he very lightly almost-whispered, almost as if in a daze. "He's not an object."

                              Slowly, Sion slumped to his knees by the side of his friend -- a really exhausted, blood-covered Sion, with disheveled hair and still a lost, completely absent look on his face. His eyes quietly turned down at last, to look at the fallen form of his friend, and he subtly slumped even more in his spot. He felt... extremely tired. Some sort of tension was released visibly from his shoulders, as Sion leaned ever so softly close over the other. Finally, his features shifted again, as if being released from that frozen, emotionless state, even though even more hair fell over his face. From behind that odd curtain of silver-and-red strands that blocked his eyes almost completely from sight, he very gently smiled down over that fallen, so very precious companion that he'd finally found again. Truth be told... Sion had no idea if the other was even conscious at all. But it didn't matter.

                              "Ryner..." he gently called out his name. "Ryner. You're really someone very precious to me. No, more than just that. ...Didn't you know? ...But I guess it's my fault." That soft smile on his face faltered a little, the corners of it turning down with an immense, unspeakable sort of sadness, and he just continued to murmur, as if to himself. "Everything... is my fault."

                              His hands found their way to the other, tugging carefully on his arm to pull him just a bit closer. Or maybe not all of him... No, Sion's fingers traced their way softly to the ropes that bound the other's wrists roughly together, and as they shook just a little... They started to undo the knots as gently as they could. To unwrap the uncomfortable material from around the skin it had cut into just a little... To free those two arms. To free that person that was so dear to him. Just a bit, as the rope was removed, the barest tips of his fingers lingered over those bruises and scratches that it had left behind. As if that lightest caress could soothe them somehow. ...That's right. He needed to do something about the rest of Ryner's wounds, as quickly as possible. He found his way to the other's shoulder, gripping it tightly, and... shaking him, only a little, as his other hand went to his head, softly stroking dirty, brown hair, and pulling twigs and leaves and patches of dried mud out of there.

                              "Ryner," he called out again, even his sense of urgency softened somehow -- almost merciful, it seemed. "You have to wake up. You have to move, even a little..."

                              It was almost as if he pleaded with the other, still lost, oblivious to whether that was even possible in his state.


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x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S 哀しみのない世界 ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ x
✭ ✭ ✭ xxxx x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ AS I LIE GENTLY THAT IT SOMEHOW EXISTS xxxxxxxxxx
▱ ▱ ▱ 君が気付かないように xx ﹙﹙ x I N x S U C H x A x W A Y x Y O U x W O N ' T x N O T I C E x ﹚﹚ xx ▱ ▱ ▱ 包んであげたい 僕が盾になる xx ﹙﹙ x I x W A N T x T O x E N V E L O P x Y O U x ﹚﹚ xxxxxxxx
▭ ▭ ▭ x x I'LL BE YOUR SHIELD x x x ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxxxxxxxxxxx
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Plane Between Planes's avatar

Star Seeker

15,050 Points
  • Inquisitor 200
  • Love Machine 150
  • Hive Mind 200
User Imagexxxxxxx

x 君 の 手 を 握 り し め x ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
↓ ↓ ↓ xx T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x ▾ ▿ ▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ xxxx
▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ I'D LIKE TO SEE FOR HOW LONG I CAN STOP TIME LIKE THIS ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxx
▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x xxxxx
x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x xxxxxx
▪▪ x 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 xx ⋮⋮ xx 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 x ▪▪xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬x ↱↱ A TRANQUIL MEMORY FROM BEFORE BEING BORN x▬ ▬ xxx


                              He was alive. Ryner was alive.

                              It was as if that single call of his name just quietly, softly, pulled Sion back from the edge of another world. As if, in hearing it, he finally returned from that far-away place he'd been lost in, left acting just out of instinct or some sort of inertia, his mind wandering other places almost. As if Sion was saved, by just that one single word... Because of the one who spoke it. A soft breath escaped through his teeth, almost like a sigh -- charged with an immense sense of relief. His eyes were able to focus again as he sought Ryner's face, lips half-parted still as he waited, visibly impatient; he was going to give the other the time that he needed, but even so... Even so, Sion wanted Ryner with him. He wanted Ryner back, so much that waiting seemed almost impossible at the moment.

                              "I'm here," he said -- whispered, almost -- before he could catch himself.

                              There was no question of whether he'd answer Ryner right then. Sion would answer anything for the other. He'd tell him anything he wanted to hear, as long as it meant that Ryner would live. That Ryner would open his eyes. As if, in doing that, he was helping the other return -- guiding him for real to where he should arrive. And maybe that could have been true, although it was also assurance of sorts... That Sion was by Ryner's side. That no matter what he'd done or what he'd made the other believe, he was right there... with him. These reasons, and others, weaved subtly together to form just one, all-encompassing feeling, the strength of which went past Sion's head. It was... probably the first time something surpassed him this completely. Not even the fear he had felt at points in his life when faced with crucial things he realized he had been oblivious about, and not even that strong sense of powerlessness that had started when he'd lost everyone... This feeling, from just Ryner alone, was surpassing all of that.

                              Because finally... finally... the other was calling out for him again.

                              "I'm alright," he responded dismissively, gaze locked in the other's, almost as if he feared leaving those eyes at the moment. "Don't worry about that." Weakly, his hand slipped from Ryner's shoulder, and he almost shook slightly as it returned to his own side. He almost trembled from the amount of stress that was passed from his shoulders and fled from just that one single sight. "More rather, you're..."

                              But it seemed Ryner wouldn't listen to him at the moment, completely focused on moving -- on getting up from his spot. Sion carefully watched, waiting to help him if needed... But the other just fell against him instead of away, drawing a small flinch from the silver-haired male as his eyes shot wide open for only a second. ...And he wasn't sure what it was from. It could have been because the other's hands gripped his arms, very tightly, and one of them was pierced with a sharp, searing sudden pain as that grip fell far too close to the object he'd completely forgotten about -- the dagger lodged there, which he hadn't removed... Because even that dagger was nothing when faced with the possibility of Ryner never returning again. But, somehow, he doubted that was the reason for the small shock that had crossed him. It was probably really this sudden closeness he had with the other; the fact that Ryner would still so willingly and so readily choose him for support. Sion's lips moved, and some sort of muffled, soft sound escaped his throat... almost as if he was inches away from giving in, too, at the end of his strength, and just... What? What would he have done then? All he knew was that he wanted Ryner, he desperately needed him like this, as his shoulder received every single one of the other's warm breaths and confirmed them -- confirmed more than anything else that the other still lived.

                              "Why...?" he weakly echoed the other's question, angling his face down a bit just to be able to look at the back of that head which rested on him. Why am I here? Or maybe what Ryner wanted to hear was... Why did I try to...? He listened quietly, that expression of being taken aback and a small bit of shock still unable to slip from his face, his throat still not forming the words. ...No, it was his mind itself that wasn't quite forming them, as Sion had pretty much given up on his own thoughts. But now... "...I..." He hesitated. "Even if... You're..."

                              Sion wasn't really doing a good job at replying. All he could do was sit there and waver between questions and answers, frozen as Ryner's grip on him only tightened, almost as if the other sought nothing but him at the moment. He felt oddly as if his friend's world might have been reduced to just Sion right then, and nothing else. It didn't matter in the end, right? Even if he didn't answer, they were this close. Ryner could probably read it by himself from Sion's own body that he was so tightly gripping... Ah, no. Ryner was in pain. What his friend was doing right then was not taking something he needed, but more... like just desperately begging for it. He wasn't holding Sion -- he needed him for support. And, because that hadn't really arrived, he was about to give up... right? That couldn't happen. It couldn't be allowed, because, to be honest, Sion also wanted to give him everything. If they felt the same, there was no way he could leave things like this. ...After all, the answer to those questions was probably the same anyway. As it overlapped, right then, it was really no different.

                              "Wait."

                              He wanted to tell him. With that one single, stronger word than what he'd been saying before, Sion wanted to tell him.

                              Slowly, as he rediscovered his own ability to move, it seemed, one of his hands slipped to Ryner's side, seeking the injury there. That one had reopened... There was definitely a warm trickle of blood that seeped through his shirt. And Sion's other hand struggled against the hold on his arm just a bit -- enough to manage to slip in-between them and search for the other wound that he knew of -- yes; he knew of this one even better, because he'd caused it. His fingertips softly touched through the fabric, feeling the warmth there as well. ...Ryner was bleeding. He was still bleeding -- not only from those injuries, but also from some place else that wasn't material -- and all Sion could do was stall here pathetically and lose track of himself. That couldn't be allowed. Softly, his head tilted a bit, temple falling effortlessly against the back of Ryner's, nestled in the cool, still dirty brown strands of hair. It rested there, as if reassuring the other -- no, as if silently asking forgiveness for the pain he was causing him with those two hands that tested his injuries. His lips, ever so quietly, slipped closer to the other's ear, and there was a strange sense of softness that built up in Sion, and climbed into his throat.

                              "You want to know?" he asked, voice calmly steady again; and gentle, so very gentle and careful. "You're the most important thing I have in the world. Ryner... Just you." His lips barely moved as he spoke, words half-caught into the other's hair it seemed. "That's why I want to protect you. That's why I can't lose you, even if I..." Slowly, carefully, he drew in a breath, holding in words for a moment as he sorted his thoughts. His head shifted a bit more, lips coming to truly rest in Ryner's hair, almost pressed softly against the top of his head. "I'm the one at fault. So that's why... If you go to sleep right now, definitely wake up again."

                              It was as if, all of a sudden, Sion was finally capable of really smiling again. Able to have a warm voice, for the first time since... before last night.

                              "I'll be waiting for you."

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                              Heavily, tiredly, Sion slumped down to his knees, definitely unable to move anymore. His shoulder carefully found the bark of the tree nearby as he half-fell against it, half-leaned in by his own conscious effort, well aware that he probably just couldn't move anymore. The silver-haired male was really at the very end of his strength. Even with something that important to care for... His eyes turned down softly, to look at the face of the male who currently lay rested against the same tree, probably deeply asleep or something like that. This was as far as Sion had been able to carry the other. To be honest, he probably shouldn't have done it at all, but as he stood up in that clearing... All he'd been greeted with was the sight of death. Disheveled dead bodies -- or even just pieces of them at times, like an arm or a head, and large splatters of blood all over the place. Somehow, he hadn't been able to let himself tend to Ryner in a place like that, where he'd be met with things like those if he were to open his eyes. So, cradling him to himself as best as he'd been able to, he'd somehow managed to drag him away -- just a little away, enough to pass by two trees and stop at the third, and somehow pull him around it, so that their backs would be turned on that scene. Leaving the other there... after that, Sion had gone through the tedious process of tending to wounds. His own arm first, removing the dagger and binding the injury before it could bleed much, so that he'd be able to properly care for Ryner after that. With just that minimal sort of care, he'd been done with himself, as right now... he really couldn't bring himself to care about that.

                              That person so dear to him was far more important.

                              Thankfully, the men who attacked them had pretty much everything he could have needed in their bags -- he'd found water-skins on them, and scraps of cloth in their packs which seemed to have been taken along particularly for bandaging wounds. It kind of made sense, he supposed. After all, in the disgusting line of work that they practiced, there was probably a constant need for such things, and they might have gotten injured a hundred times over, each. It didn't matter, beyond the fact that he could use all of these things to tend to his friend... and so he had. But things had been pretty bad. After he'd removed Ryner's shirt with some effort and struggles, he'd been really able to see... It wasn't like that night when they'd first tended to themselves, at all. This was plain daylight, even with the shades of the forest, and Sion was perfectly able to see -- every small detail, every painful tear in the skin, every single droplet of blood that trickled down from the wounds. They really... looked bad. As time went by and he carefully cleaned them as best as he could, removing what dirt he could find with gentle moves so as not to make the bleeding worse, he'd realized through and through that these injuries were serious. As he bandaged them at first, not sparing any care and effort and wrapping the strips of fabric as tightly around the other as he could to hold back the blood, they were still stained through with red in a matter of minutes. The wound on the brown-haired male's side eventually calmed after adding the second layer, but the one on his chest... Sion had kept his hand pressed over it with more cloth for a while, before re-bandaging it, and it still had almost soaked out. Finally, after binding another layer on top with as much strength as he could muster, tying it so tightly around the male's shoulder and chest that he wondered if the other could even still breathe, it seemed to decently slow down and stop. After that, Sion had turned his attention to small things as well, almost as if to distract himself from that tight knot of worry that sat in his throat, and he hadn't stopped before even the small scratches on Ryner's wrists had been tended to.

                              ...The biggest problem, however, he remembered now as he looked at the wet compress resting over the other's forehead... Was that Ryner definitely sported a fever. From where his body temperature should have been a bit lower than normal due to the blood-loss, instead, when Sion had felt for his temple, he'd found it too hot, almost slightly burning.

                              "You'd better wake up," he murmured in a careful, low voice at the other. Almost as if trying to joke could have helped him... he tried a chuckle, which came out strangled; both worried and tired. "It's going to damage my demon king reputation with you if I let you sleep for too long. Ah... haha..."

                              Sion coughed lightly, that pathetic attempt at amusement ending in breath catching painfully in his throat as he trembled a little. Probably from exhaustion...

                              Carefully, mustering every single ounce of sense and strength he still had, he pulled himself closer to the tree, not caring about the leaves and dirt that clung to his clothes, nor the stains of dried blood all over his coat. He'd cleaned his face and his hair as best he could just now, before going back to crash down next to Ryner, but... there wasn't much he could do about this. Slowly, with half-shaky hands, he started to undo the buttons on the front, fingers slipping on the same stains of blood at points. He wiped them clean on a corner of the fabric as he finally took the coat off, and then set it aside. That left him in just a simple, white shirt, which would have definitely had him freezing down to the very bones if it had been night, but... during the day, it would do. And besides... Turning softly to Ryner, Sion managed to smile yet again -- although even that soft curl of his lips seem to be at the end of its strength.

                              "Ahh... I guess I could use some sleep right now, too," he tried to joke yet again; but it still sounded nothing short of pathetic.

                              Besides, he really couldn't. He had to watch over Ryner, no matter what.

                              Hand finding its way softly to the other's shoulder, Sion carefully gripped, and pulled him away from the tree, drawing him closer. It was a bit of an awkward shuffle, as he himself lost his balance in the middle and almost fell down to one elbow, but in the end... He somehow managed to rest himself against the strong, rough trunk of the tree by which they'd so forcibly camped, and pull the other along. As carefully as he could, he adjusted his seated position, drawing his knees under himself, and letting Ryner's head come to rest in his lap. It was probably better like this, Sion figured as he lightly adjusted the wet cloth on the other's forehead, checking his temperature in the process. ...Still a bit high. A small frown creased his forehead, and... unnoticed, his own head slumped lower a bit, almost as if in defeat.

                              Beyond this... he really didn't know what to do except wait.

                              With the same sort of lost, absent moves, the only kind he was still capable of, Sion picked up his coat yet again from where he'd left it, and turned it carefully, hiding the blood on it as best he could. The inner side was still clean, and so... He softly draped it over Ryner's prone form, covering the injuries and as much of his body as possible. He really hadn't found the strength to redress the other with his own shirt, so at least something like this...

                              Letting his head fall back against the tree, Sion let out a small sigh. Just a tiny, quiet sound as he... most definitely still felt helpless. He had no power to help the other any more than this.

                              "Ryner," he found himself saying again, some while later. "I'm... actually, probably... Really worried, you know. Aha... It's a bit funny, I guess. But..." His face lost its calm as it darkened, if only a little, in some sort of manner similar to giving up... though, on what exactly, he wasn't sure. "If I lost you right now... I really don't think I..."

                              He really felt as if talking to the other like this might have been the only thing still keeping him from just letting that panic in the back of his chest engulf him completely.


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x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S 哀しみのない世界 ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ x
✭ ✭ ✭ xxxx x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ AS I LIE GENTLY THAT IT SOMEHOW EXISTS xxxxxxxxxx
▱ ▱ ▱ 君が気付かないように xx ﹙﹙ x I N x S U C H x A x W A Y x Y O U x W O N ' T x N O T I C E x ﹚﹚ xx ▱ ▱ ▱ 包んであげたい 僕が盾になる xx ﹙﹙ x I x W A N T x T O x E N V E L O P x Y O U x ﹚﹚ xxxxxxxx
▭ ▭ ▭ x x I'LL BE YOUR SHIELD x x x ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxxxxxxxxxxx
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Plane Between Planes's avatar

Star Seeker

15,050 Points
  • Inquisitor 200
  • Love Machine 150
  • Hive Mind 200
User Imagexxxxxxx

x 君 の 手 を 握 り し め x ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
↓ ↓ ↓ xx T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x ▾ ▿ ▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ xxxx
▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ I'D LIKE TO SEE FOR HOW LONG I CAN STOP TIME LIKE THIS ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxx
▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x xxxxx
x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x xxxxxx
▪▪ x 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 xx ⋮⋮ xx 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 x ▪▪xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬x ↱↱ A TRANQUIL MEMORY FROM BEFORE BEING BORN x▬ ▬ xxx


                              Eventually, even Sion fell silent.

                              No matter how many things he said to the other -- how many times he irrationally tried to reach out to him with those near-nonsensical words, spoken as if all he could do was talk -- there was no reply. Not even a reaction from the other, not the smallest sign that he was actually hearing. It shouldn't have been surprising; after all, Ryner was passed out. He might have even been dying. But Sion refused to think of it in those terms in the end; such a thing couldn't be possible, because he'd definitely keep his promise... Right? He'd told Sion he was going to return, so he had to. Ryner would definitely... not break his word. ...Had he been gripping something at the moment, the silver-haired male would have probably crumpled and ripped it in his hand, frantically toying with it until it snapped and broke and was torn to the tiniest pieces. But he didn't really have anything like that, and this way, his fingers only pressed tightly into his palm, nails digging into skin -- while the other, far more powerless, still heavily injured hand only lay there, numb and lifeless, almost as if its healthier twin had taken over enough energy to stress for both. In the end, even he gave up. All along, he had tried to attribute this to exhaustion, and to having injuries of his own, and to simply being emotionally worn out as well. He'd put everything down on that -- how shaky his moves turned out, how nervous he felt, reacting to the tiniest noise, and how restless and incoherent his thoughts were as they ran through his head. All of it had been attempted off as a pass onto such excuses. But... That wasn't it. In the end, even Sion had to admit that he was probably only worried. Extremely concerned, so much so that it felt as if his heart rested at the very top of his throat, blocking his breathing, and sending his blood into a mad dance through his body every time he allowed those emotions it held carefully hidden to grow. Those emotions that so badly wanted to panic and... he wasn't sure what exactly they'd do, but they'd have definitely not been stoppable once he gave in.

                              He was sure he'd finally, at long last, completely broken. Sion should have been reasonable, and logical, and able to organize things with his head. He shouldn't have been ruled by his feelings at all, his mind always taking precedence as it could flawlessly come to the right conclusions and decide the right actions. But right now there was none of that at all. He had no more control, and all that ran through him were emotions -- the very same feelings he'd thought he had so safely under his command. Nothing applied anymore... because this was Ryner. If Ryner died, the world might end. ...No, something even worse than that might happen. Something beyond the imagination, that Sion couldn't even express, and everything would be gone. There'd be no point and meaning in things... There was no way to even think of it. Because if he lost Ryner, Sion wouldn't be able to think at all anymore. It didn't even matter that he himself tried to kill him; that was then, this was now. If Ryner died now, he'd still have to come back to life, because if he didn't... There was no such world.

                              That's how he felt, and the wait seemed to last for a million years with this.

                              He simply stayed there, completely slumped against that tree, form small from being curled in on itself almost as if it didn't want to be seen. He didn't feel like the king at all at the moment. Because, no matter how you thought of it, someone as powerless and pathetic as this couldn't be the man who ruled Roland so efficiently, the same man who was so proud as to assume he could change a whole country, by his own hands. The man with such a sense of self-worth and importance that he'd figured he was good enough to place himself in that sort of position. There was no sign of that here. All there was right now was Sion, who couldn't do any of that. Who didn't even think of doing any of it, because... The truth was, probably none of it mattered right then, not even half as much as the other waking up and saying he was alright. That's all he needed. If Ryner even stirred, just a little, and looked like he intended to live... Then Sion could be at peace.

                              He didn't know how long it took after he had finally fallen silent. There were many heartbeats skipped in his chest over the semblance of a move from the other, and many breaths held back in a hopelessly mistaken impression that he'd heard a sound from his friend. The other seemed to simply sleep there, head rested in Sion's lap, whole body in a completely pitiful state. By the time he finally actually started to stir, Sion had been watching him for so long that his eyes had become lost somewhere on Ryner's face, resting on it but somehow seeing through, into nothing. The first breath that the other let out -- like a sigh almost -- drew him back from the edge of whatever sort of reality he'd been wandering through, really at the complete end of his strength, and called the actual image of Ryner's face back into his view. Sion wasn't mistaken this time; there was definitely something different on the other's face as he started to move, only a little, still not awake. But that expression... wasn't bad. It was almost as if Ryner liked where he was, even though he only perceived that reality in the most basic of half-aware manners right then. And so, Sion was ready to keep his own promise as well. To be there, waiting for him. As carefully the softest forced, pretty wry smile managed to climb to his lips, he tilted his head just a little so that Ryner's eyes, which were opening, could look into his own. From that angle, brown and gold were locked yet again, peacefully, as if finding each other after having wandered through distant lands. And Sion stayed there, for as long as Ryner might need, definitely at least firmly transmitting that one single message. That he was right there.

                              ...And more than that. Was Ryner realizing where he was? That was fine; Sion's face said it. It was perfectly fine, because Ryner could have anything he wanted from him. He could have all of Sion, just like that. Everything.

                              And so, he softly lifted a hand, pulling silver strands behind his ear to reveal his face better to the other -- or maybe it was to better look at Ryner himself?

                              "Huh...?" Sion blinked, suddenly taken aback by the other's first comment. That was... Something like that was Ryner's first concern after everything that had happened -- after this sort of thing to awaken from? Sion's eyes drifted for a second, to glance at the coat rested over the other, below which he knew there was no shirt; there'd be only bandages, bandages, some bare skin and more bandages. Really... There was probably nobody else who would have been capable of a thought process like this, except Ryner. "Ff... ahaha..." With a short, lightly exhaled breath, Sion's shoulders sagged slightly, almost like a threat before him had just been dispelled so there was no longer a need to keep himself alert and poised for attack. In a mere second, his expression had returned to that warm, friendly face of a casual, even slightly happy Sion who was capable of laughing a little again. Steadying himself, obviously on purpose, he drew his mouth into a firm, mock-serious line as he pretended to regard the other with a solemn face and give a strict nod. "Yes. Of course, what those guys said annoyed me so much that I had to make sure you knew, Ryner. That you definitely belong to me."

                              ...However, there was no reaction.

                              Just a little, Sion could feel his cheeks quickly heat up, almost burning, as he felt only a bit of embarrassment. Not even from realizing what sort of thing he'd said, because it was definitely a joke of the kind they might have traded by the millions so far, but... Had this sort of thing been really inappropriate, after all? As he thought, it was probably inconsiderate to make fun of something like that -- even though it should have been obvious he wasn't really taking things lightly, but just... Just what? Treating what happened with that sort of joking, casually amused air was probably wrong. Even if he did it to entertain the other and just... in a way, be closer to him. Be more familiar, to re-establish that sort of rapport that they had. To keep Ryner all to himself. But the other was... definitely not amused, right? Sion had gone a little too far.

                              "Aha... So---" Ryner's face didn't express that sort of thing at all, however. "...rry." Sion's originally heartfelt -- though awkward -- apology quickly turned into hesitation, reaching an unsure end that hadn't been originally intended.

                              It was immediately followed by a flinch as well, as Ryner's head dropped back into his lap and the other seemed perfectly content to just find his way to the most comfortable possible setup and stay there, like that. Sion shifted awkwardly at some point, his whole body tensing by itself at that slightly too familiar sort of contact. Ahh... What had he gotten himself into? He was in the middle of somehow trying to worm just a little out of the whole thing when his eyes finally fell back onto Ryner's face for real and... He caught sight of that tiny, so very content-looking smile. In only an instant, every single idea of somehow moving away left him, and instead he very delicately, almost as if not to disturb the other from that state, slumped back in his spot. A small sigh escaped his lips as he definitely tried to look a little less disarmed -- and way more dignified and calm -- than he actually was, but even that went unnoticed. So Sion's expression quickly changed to one of curiosity, as Ryner finally seemed to find something he really actually wanted to talk about. Those clever, golden eyes were still there for the other, steadily holding his gaze. As if Sion didn't, even for a moment, want to let the other feel as if he hadn't been with him.

                              "Ahh... Back there?" He hesitated slightly at the other's question.

                              Truth be told, the sort of look that Ryner gave him after finishing his inquiry slightly intimidated the silver-haired male in some way. He wished he could have glanced away just a bit, but he didn't, almost as if that would give him away, and instead his face only clouded a little. It seemed almost as if Ryner read that sort of complicated mood from him, however, just perfectly able to interpret Sion like always, because he soon dropped the topic -- or at least changed it a little to something else. Sion's lips parted only a bit and quivered subtly as he listened, making it look as if a reply was already formed, and just waiting to be gently released from there. But... in the end, only Ryner kept talking. Sion's words were definitely there -- they hovered in the back of his throat, like a knot almost. A far more pleasant knot than the mess of worry and panic he'd had until not long ago, but... He still couldn't say it. Because he wasn't sure exactly, rationally, reasonably, what he really wanted to say. It was as if the truth, right now, really couldn't come from his head, but more rather from that tangle of feelings that squirmed through his chest. But Sion really... wasn't used to something like that; it was actually scary, in a way, to think that he'd be expressing even more things that came from there, after everything he'd already said. So, seconds drifted past, until he lost the moment and even Ryner himself seemed to give up on him. It looked like the other might, in the end, be happy enough with just what had already been said.

                              Even though... happy enough was still less than what Ryner deserved. It wasn't right for him to have to just resign and return to the usual sort of light conversation, even though hearing Ryner's antiques was comforting right then. It was comforting, so Sion played along almost thoughtlessly, as if by reflex.

                              "If that's true, I guess I have no choice," he said, with that calm, double-edged sort of tone Sion had sometimes; he obviously meant quite the opposite despite what he was saying, and was in fact not persuaded at all. His expression turned swiftly as flat as it could possibly be. "You have twenty seconds. After that, I'll move away."

                              However, it was really just a game in the end. Sion did wait a few seconds for the sake of a possibly amusing reaction from the other, but... Beyond that, he definitely felt something much softer. Almost as if Ryner really... Just like Sion had tried earlier with his own joke, just sought a way to be closer to him yet again. So once those twenty seconds were up, the only thing Sion did was lean forward onto his hands, resting them down on the ground as carefully as he could, by each of Ryner's sides. Like that, back-half-bent, shoulders sagged and head tilted down... He hovered gently over Ryner, casting a light shadow over him and adding it to the slightly interrupted one of the tree. And he simply looked at the other's face from there, with as soft of a smile as he was capable of. ...At least for the first few moments, until he remembered that he was currently only wearing a thin shirt, with no coat, and that this had been a really bad move -- but at the same time not bad at all, since it wasn't unpleasant, but Sion just... Ahh, this was pointless. He'd really done it to himself now, and couldn't even bring himself to regret it. He could feel the warmth from Ryner's face really close near his stomach, and every tiny breath of air that came from the other's lips actually very lightly found its way through the flimsy white fabric which heated up just a little. And that heat wasted no time in adding itself to the one that swiftly formed in the peak of Sion's chest; even though he tried to push it all back, it still slightly climbed to his face, as everything in his body felt weak and suddenly resigned to the fact. Stubbornly, only his eyes refused to leave Ryner, even despite that sort of pathetic miscalculation and resulting consequences.

                              ...Even though he had to pitifully struggle for a light breath of air a little, lips twitching once subtly before he could speak.

                              "Ryner," he finally managed, face turning the slightest semblance of serious. As much as it could right then, even though a trace of edgy embarrassment still definitely remained, so ultimately it was a little amusing to see. Stubbornly, Sion tried to will the knowledge that even he had of that fact away. "...Are you really alright? It seems like it, but... To be honest, your injuries were pretty bad, and you had a fever just earlier." As if on cue, with that comment, Sion seemed to tense all of a sudden, and all his support was switched to just one hand as the other flew to Ryner's forehead, moving the still slightly wet cloth aside and carefully touching his temple to check. "...I guess it's better now, probably." The worried frown that had formed was fully honest this time, though, and it didn't leave. "I'll get you some water."

                              As carefully as possible, Sion's hand found its way under Ryner's head, delicately lifting it from his lap just a little -- enough to let himself slip away as elegantly as possible, with careful, calculated moves. He really didn't want to jolt the other too abruptly in his condition, so he was very considerate with every move as he finally drew away, carefully letting Ryner rest on the ground instead. As he pulled himself to his feet, the silver-haired male struggled a little, both legs numb and starting to vaguely sting from the sort of position he'd been in for so long. Supporting himself with the aid of the tree, he managed to half-stumble past its visible roots between which the both of them had been nestled, and crouched to pick up something from there. With swift, much surer moves than the ones he'd taken to walk, he tossed what looked clearly like a half-full water-skin back at Ryner -- with enough consideration not to actually aim for him, but more rather for the tree, so as not to hurt the other who probably was in no condition to catch the object and defend himself.

                              ...From there, however, Sion lingered a few moments too much.

                              He should have stood up, but he didn't immediately, head turned and eyes seemingly lost some place past the few trees beyond the one they'd sat by. Truth be told, he couldn't see it very well from here, but... he knew what lay just past, in that direction. ...That bag had been taken from there. From that clearing which still held the spectacle of what he'd done to save Ryner. Sion didn't regret it -- didn't feel sorry even for having to rely on the Fallen Black Hero for it, if that's what it took to protect his friend and keep him from dying in such a fashion. The only thing he regretted was something else. His own powerlessness, maybe, and... It was really probably unbelievable how much Ryner had been hurt; all of it at Sion's own hands, directly or indirectly, as everything was really his fault. Even though they'd just hidden behind jokes and casual behavior and slight smiles... in the end, that's how it was. The fact that Ryner couldn't move right now, the other's injuries, the still slightly questionable state of his morale... Everything was because of Sion. Because he couldn't do anything right when it came to something truly important, it seemed. He always lost exactly that which he valued the most; so what use was being able to perfectly plan and fix everything else...?

                              A tiny, inaudible sigh drifted past Sion's lips as he finally pulled himself to his feet. His back, however, stayed turned on the other, and he appeared somewhat distant as he still looked out into the forest. Not at the camp this time, but more rather in the direction they were probably supposed to walk in -- the direction where the road was, probably a very short distance away by now.

                              "Ryner," he finally very quietly said yet again, even his voice sounding as if it had been lost in thought. "All those times before... Haven't you ever thought of leaving? Just escaping some place far away and, in the end, never having to deal with all of this anymore." All of this. What Sion probably meant at the moment was really himself; that Ryner might have simply escaped having to go through this much for him, at his orders. If he'd truly wanted, the brown-haired male could have probably escaped even Ferris, or just convinced her to go along. That's how he'd always felt, after all -- that the two, to him, were really just more and more of a distant existence. "Ha ha..." He forced a laugh. "I guess that's a stupid question. You think of it all the time."

                              But... If even just once... not as a joke...

                              Sion's voice lost all traces of amusement, and just quieted down even more.

                              "...How about now?"

                              Falling half-against the tree once again, one shoulder rested on it, Sion seemed to slump a bit where he stood. Not even he noticed, but his head was lowered just a bit, almost as if he'd already accepted some conclusion or another without even getting a reply in the first place. After all, now more than ever, that sort of thing was probably true. He'd really already troubled the other too much -- no, 'trouble' was such a weak, pathetic word compared to what Ryner had gone through just earlier, and last night. Should the other really honestly want such a thing, Sion was probably... ready to really let him go. Even though that sort of thought hurt. Very slowly, the silver-haired male finally turned, until his back was fully pressed against the wood and, like that, with Ryner back in his line of view, he could turn his head to face him again. There wasn't much to read in Sion's expression, except maybe that he was tired, but his gaze stayed fixed on his friend.

                              "Do you feel like beating me up or something?" he asked plainly, golden eyes scouring the other from behind that unreadable, cloudy expression. Sion was calm... And yet, at the same time, there was an odd sense of restlessness washing over him like a wave. He really... just couldn't fight any of this anymore.

                              He wasn't even sure what he needed right then.


♔ ♔ ♔ -------------------- xx ↴ ↴ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S 哀しみのない世界 ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ x
✭ ✭ ✭ xxxx x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ AS I LIE GENTLY THAT IT SOMEHOW EXISTS xxxxxxxxxx
▱ ▱ ▱ 君が気付かないように xx ﹙﹙ x I N x S U C H x A x W A Y x Y O U x W O N ' T x N O T I C E x ﹚﹚ xx ▱ ▱ ▱ 包んであげたい 僕が盾になる xx ﹙﹙ x I x W A N T x T O x E N V E L O P x Y O U x ﹚﹚ xxxxxxxx
▭ ▭ ▭ x x I'LL BE YOUR SHIELD x x x ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxxxxxxxxxxx
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Plane Between Planes's avatar

Star Seeker

15,050 Points
  • Inquisitor 200
  • Love Machine 150
  • Hive Mind 200
User Imagexxxxxxx

x 君 の 手 を 握 り し め x ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
↓ ↓ ↓ xx T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x ▾ ▿ ▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ xxxx
▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ I'D LIKE TO SEE FOR HOW LONG I CAN STOP TIME LIKE THIS ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxx
▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x xxxxx
x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x xxxxxx
▪▪ x 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 xx ⋮⋮ xx 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 x ▪▪xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬x ↱↱ A TRANQUIL MEMORY FROM BEFORE BEING BORN x▬ ▬ xxx


                              There was no trace of a mask on Sion's face as he just stood there, looking calmly at his friend and seeming almost completely resigned. He was definitely tired, as his expression showed only a passive sort of patience, with absolutely no attempt made to hide it or anything else at all from being easily noticed. Right then, that sort of Sion... was definitely, without a doubt, done trying to conceal his emotions and real reactions, too exhausted to force on any sort of pretense, or clumsily try to patch things up with a perfect light mood when obviously there was only tentatively such a thing between himself and Ryner right then. And... maybe that wasn't the only reason, either. It was really actually difficult to define. Even though the both of them had been acting casual with each other, almost like usual, and they'd been close, almost just as close as before...

                              The problem was in that 'almost', in the end.

                              Because it was everywhere, and everything fell short after all, no matter how genuine it might have seemed; they didn't get quite completely over what both of them knew had gone on. Not talking about it didn't mean either of them would forget it, and didn't mean they weren't thinking of it in the back of their heads. Maybe, in a way, Sion would have preferred it if Ryner could have somehow forgotten all about it, memories erased from his head by some miracle circumstance. Then at least he'd know the other had nothing to worry about; and he'd be sure that Ryner really... wasn't hurt. Physical injuries aside, he'd know that the other's heart was fine, and that he wasn't just probably hiding that painful lack of self-worth and sense of his own value somewhere really deep. Because hiding it wasn't enough; Sion didn't want things like that to be there at all. If possible... He would have really taken all the blame -- because it was his to begin with, anyway. Even with how much it would hurt, he'd probably be happier with Ryner finally being able to hate him -- and finally abandoning him -- than with the idea that the other had retreated back into that old self of his who turned his back on a world who had definitely abandoned him. But Ryner... probably wouldn't hold such negative emotions towards him. Because of that same reason as ever. That Ryner was too kind... and he was too hard on himself -- had been too deeply hurt. That's why Sion could only show that sort of gentle, accepting expression, telling the other that he really meant every intention. That definitely, without a trace of a doubt, Sion was serious. He was waiting for an answer from Ryner, and was ready to gracefully accept whatever it may have been. Just this once... he'd listen, with every single bit of his heart, and accept whatever the other was going to tell him.

                              From the bottom of his heart, with that sort of face, he was probably trying to apologize.

                              ...And yet, it seemed all he managed to do was cause the other even more discomfort with that sort of conversation. He could see it in the reaction read plainly from Ryner's changing expression as he watched, and immediately Sion felt even more sorry for acting like this. It would have probably really been better, after all, if he'd somehow managed to find it in himself to act normal, and brave, and make everything seem fine. With his sort of nature... he definitely could have done it. Definitely probably helped the other rest at peace about everything, if he somehow managed to warmly brush everything off and just care for Ryner. ...Right? At the same time, though, that was true. What Ryner was saying... Sion hadn't thought of it as he asked that sort of question; maybe because that situation had been different. He'd made a real mistake and given a reason, but more than anything else... That other bearer of cursed eyes had been there. Someone else had drawn Ryner purposely away from Sion, and so... But, in the end, that had probably been the Alpha Stigma bearer's own choice, hadn't it? His friend's choice. A choice to leave Sion's side, because Sion had betrayed him. In that case... He felt just a little bit stupid, and maybe inconsiderate too. That, in the end, he had really thought Ryner, by himself, wouldn't really think of leaving his side. If he stopped for a moment to analyze it, that sort of thing... was really way too presumptuous. Sion was too confident, in the end, so he probably ended up selfish, and taking people for granted, didn't he?

                              And so, when Ryner moved, Sion didn't actually stop him. For only a second, as his gaze fixed itself more carefully on the other's face, he studied that expression and accepted it as well. Just like he'd finally accepted those words, and the truth behind them... He did just as he'd silently promised. He took in everything, honestly, with both mind and heart. Even if... in the end, it really hurt, unbelievably much, to realize yet again just how real the fact had been that Ryner had already left him. Even then, it had been an unbearable thought -- but it was more of an irrational fear at that point; in the end, Sion had probably expected him to return then. But, right now, those words... made him realize that he probably shouldn't have. That, most likely, the possibility of Ryner never returning had been real? ...No, that wasn't it. In the end, it was the same even now. Sion knew that Ryner would have come back, but even so... That the other would be so painfully torn between the feelings that made him return, and wanting to leave... It must have meant he'd really considered it, in the end. He'd really wanted to be away from Sion. And so, at hearing this sort of thing, it felt strangely... Just like back then. Even though Ryner wasn't turning his back on Sion right now, or going anywhere... For some reason, he got the feeling that the other had just slipped from his fingers, almost, as he was desperately trying to grasp him. It still felt almost as if he was watching Ryner turn his back, all over again, and... With that sad sort of expression, clearly saying goodbye.

                              But that wasn't really the case, was it?

                              The coat that Sion had draped over Ryner slipped lightly off, and drew his attention to the fact that the other was moving. Really moving; gathering all of his strength, even in that sort of state, just to hold himself up and pull himself to his feet. And, maybe just that one thing... Sion really couldn't place. He couldn't figure it out at all. Despite how things were, why was he still... Why was Ryner still making that sort of effort? For a minute, even though the silver-haired male couldn't bring himself to truly believe it, things seemed almost as if Ryner was intent on getting to him. On reaching out to him no matter what and showing him that he was most definitely... right there. With Sion. The silver-haired male's lips parted a little, and for a moment he seemed perfectly poised to move from his spot as well. Because, if Ryner was really trying to reach him, then all he had to do was exactly the same. He could give himself to Ryner, because that was what he wanted as well. ...But that sort of thing was impossible. Sion's face barely even showed any reaction as the other finally stabilized and came to look at him yet again.

                              "Ah... seriously?" he asked, with some odd sort of calm. The laugh Ryner had given was met with some odd sort of smile, which said quite clearly that Sion wasn't really amused... But he was going to be, if that's what the other wanted, probably. Right then, he really gave up. "...I guess you really should."

                              Just simply, like that, with those casual words.

                              He really couldn't tell at the moment. With that same kind of odd, painful amusement, Sion realized that he really had no idea. At the moment, that stupidly crazy sense of confidence he had in himself, in his own readings and deductions, and in his own abilities to influence others... There was none of it there. He couldn't read Ryner -- or was he too exhausted to even try? Whatever the reason, in the end, Sion was really resigned to just that. He couldn't know how the other felt, and what it was he really wanted. He wasn't able to figure his friend out and try to regain him. Or maybe... he just really didn't have the right to do that anymore. No matter how you looked at it, it was really self-important of him to do things like that in the end, right? No matter what sort of reason he might have had for trying to know the other like this, in the end, it was a selfish thing to do. And so, he really couldn't tell... He had no idea, at all, if this was going to be another one of those games they'd played many times before, or if it was really what Ryner wanted to do.

                              However...

                              "Huh?" The other's next words actually took him by surprise, pulling him strangely a bit from that state. With that sort of thing... it really felt almost normal, in the end. "What? Ryner, if you give that sort of warning, it really ruins ev--- ah, wai----"

                              In the end, though, it seemed as if the other was serious? Sion's eyes widened just a little as Ryner really seemed to attack him, and like this... Caught unprepared, he really wasn't able to do what he'd originally wanted, and just accept this without a single reaction, in the end. Or, more rather, that wasn't really the issue; he'd let Ryner do what he wanted, but he wasn't really ready at all! ...Ah, that kind of thought sounded wrong too, and the more Sion confused himself and sort of panicked at the too-sudden movement, the more instinct kicked in. His body moved on its own, falling slightly away from the tree, and both hands rose in the air in a sign of surrender, almost as if signaling to the other to stop -- wait just a bit, and if Sion could have a few seconds...

                              However, it didn't seem to be working. Or, more rather, he had no idea what Ryner was doing anymore.

                              The other faltered, it seemed, for only a second... and then just crashed. Straight into Sion, pushing him back with the full force of an impact the silver-haired male hadn't been expecting at all, as all he could do was helplessly half-struggle, one of his hands at least somehow managing to find its way to Ryner's chest, palm rested pathetically weakly against it as he didn't even really try to push the other away. Instead, his own back found the tree all over again, hitting it lightly, and suddenly his whole body was pressed heavily against the wood, trapped completely beneath Ryner's own. The entirely shocked expression on Sion's face as breath was knocked solidly out of him contained many things all at once -- that boundless surprise, confusion, a bit of resistance to that sort of suddenness, and maybe even a little panic. But his body really wasn't moving. It only responded weakly, just like that hand which would have been supposed to hold Ryner at bay, and more rather than help the other stabilize, he found himself slumping a little against the tree, rather uselessly. And in that move, he discovered Ryner's knee, which had somehow found its way between his own legs, and instantly every single muscle in Sion's body tensed, eyes searching for the other's face... Which was dangerously close, but there was nothing Sion could do. With a strength he probably couldn't have ever denied at all, the other seemed to only crash further, one hand gripping Sion's shoulder and pinning him in place even more, the other hitting the tree and tugging at his hair, locking his head where it was just as well. And Sion's heart raced, his mind running with everything; this was an accident, right? Ryner was weak, and so he'd fallen against Sion, and yet... At the moment, the silver-haired male couldn't see it like that at all, and all he could do was stare as the other's face still came close, and the same message he'd wanted to give before was amplified a million times in his head.

                              Wait.

                              "Ryner," he managed, voice pitifully strangled and husky, displaying a prominent lack of breath. "Wait, I'm not---"

                              ...ready?

                              Although for what exactly, Sion wasn't sure, and instantly, as he couldn't finish saying something like that, he was left simply staring. Like this, his head was tilted slightly in the direction of captive hair, whole body just tightly held against that tree, and he couldn't move at all as his face was angled perfectly for those molten gold eyes to stare straight into Ryner's brown. His palm still rested lightly on the other's chest, which only served to make him conscious that yet again, there was only bare skin there instead of clothing, and the other was this close to him... And this time, Sion didn't wear his coat, but only that thin shirt which was hardly enough to keep even a single bit of the other's warmth from crawling straight under his skin, sending a sensation much like goosebumps dancing through all of Sion's body. His legs felt suddenly weak, and probably if the tree hadn't been there he wouldn't have managed to still hold himself shakily up even as little as he currently was. As he found his breath yet again, he became painfully aware that every single accelerated rasp of air that passed through his lips fell against Ryner's, because they were really that close. Simply locked there, in that sort of position, with that sort of completely helpless looks on their faces. And any air that the other exhaled, just as equally, heated up his own skin. ...But Ryner had stopped. As he thought, this had to have been some kind of accident; it wasn't as if the other had willingly fallen against him like this, and pinned him there, and actually planned to do... anything.

                              And then, just as Sion was starting to regain his sense...

                              Ryner moved. There was definitely a change in the other and he finally moved, with what seemed like a perfectly calculated intent this time for certain, and... His forehead only fell lightly against Sion's, shortening the distance between them even more. That move had definitely been at least half-intentional. Sion's breath really caught in his throat, almost like a strong, gripping knot of sorts, and only now did he realize that his other hand had actually somehow flown to the other's hip, resting there so comfortably as if it should have. Was Ryner about to...? Frozen with surprise, the silver-haired male could do nothing but awkwardly try to shift, which only almost caused him to slip on shaky legs and had his back sliding down the tree an inch more. If that was even possible, Ryner was only brought yet more closely over him, and he really didn't have any strength left anymore, and right then... Sion's eyes fluttered closed, and then only slightly open again immediately after, as his lips parted just a bit on their own. ...Just like that, calmly, his whole body relaxed by itself, without any sort of impulse or conscious command, his gaze softening all of a sudden from those only half-open eyes. He didn't try to resist. He didn't even think of opposing this anymore, as everything that danced all over his body was just the heat that passed on from Ryner, so completely taking over all of his senses right then as the other was felt closely over him, down to the very last detail. Right then, Sion's face really said everything -- more clearly than it ever had. Even though Ryner would probably not have been able to pick out the details from that sort of distance... It's fine. This is fine. It was all really there, and if what Ryner wanted was this, then... He really could have it.

                              And yet, nothing moved.

                              Seconds went past, and the both of them were still locked there like that, hopelessly close and unable to move. And another sort of heat slowly started to form, racing through Sion, and climbing distinctly up to his face. Right then... He was probably really embarrassed. Nothing happened; after he'd been so definitely sure something would, nothing at all had happened, and the both of them just stayed there. This had definitely been an accident after all. There was no chance that any of Ryner's actions right then could have been even part-voluntary, and Sion felt almost bad as an odd queasiness danced fleetingly through his stomach.

                              "...Sorry..." he breathed carefully over the other's lips, somehow managing not to move -- not to even blink, almost -- as if afraid of whatever more he could touch of the other after how intimately they were already rested together. He wasn't sure what exactly he was apologizing for, either, but he had to. For some reason, he really had to. "I'm sorry."

                              It was definitely not an apology for last night. That sort of thing, given through slow, almost difficult breaths that he tried to muffle from the definitely heavy manner they'd come out in with the state he was in at the moment... It definitely didn't reach that far. It wasn't regret for trying to kill Ryner that Sion felt; it was almost as if he weren't even thinking of that at the moment. This sort of apology was something much more immediate, about right here and right now alone, distinctly only connected to just that one moment. And Sion himself still didn't know what exactly he was offering it for. For so helplessly only being able to watch, instead of helping Ryner stabilize himself? For making him move in his state? Or maybe for forgetting so easily about that and thinking, for even a second, that Ryner was going to... That they were going to... It really hadn't made sense in that context. It hadn't been logical at all, and yet Sion had just freely, and automatically... Even despite the many problems underlying between them...

                              "Hm?" he gave a small sound of surprise, unable to help it as Ryner's voice actually suddenly pulled him from his thoughts. "Ah... you..."

                              It was as if he had suddenly found his voice yet again, but that unexpected tightening of the firm hold on his shoulder stopped him from continuing, and Ryner finally... Broke the directness of the closeness between them, leaving him only a little more able to breathe. A soft sigh slipped through Sion's lips at that moment -- he really hadn't intended it to sound so relieved, but that's really the way it came out. Because he honestly... really didn't know how much more of that he'd have been able to take, legs still feeling shaky and barely even supporting him at all anymore, and his entire body weak and completely powerless against anything at the moment. Just a little, like this, he was able to regain a fragment of strength, even though what the other was saying brought a completely different sort of softness instead. It didn't even matter that every word brought the feeling of the other's lips vaguely over his skin. Sion himself wasn't very secure at the moment, but if even a little... when Ryner slipped closer, this time he allowed him right there. ...No, he'd let him even before, as those feeble attempts at opposition like that hand on his chest were probably really nothing but illusions of resistance. But now... It was still really different. Softly, as if he were somehow dazed, Sion let that very same hand slip down from where it was rested over the other's skin, his whole arm wrapping fully around Ryner instead. Just like that, bringing his other hand right in tandem, he rested both palms on the other's back, letting them climb to his shoulders as he tightly embraced him.

                              All of his feelings, really, down to the very last one, had been found completely again that very instant.

                              "Ryner," he replied, voice finally firm yet again, and as he repeated it, it felt almost as if he were trying to call the other back from wherever he'd wandered. "Ryner. You're wrong. ...I haven't done anything for you. Even though I wanted to, I..." Quickly, as if almost needy in a way, one of his hands climbed even more, bringing the soft touch of fingers tangling themselves into brown locks of hair, and then shifting from there, entire palm coming to rest against the back of the other's head. Softly, like that, he pulled Ryner down just a little, lowering the other's head to his own shoulder and letting that familiar face hide itself there if Ryner should want to. He genuinely, and honestly... just offered him rest, his own previous idea suddenly lost. He seemed to be musing about something else entirely by now. "...There's no way you could possibly move around like this," he continued after that silence, his voice calm, and extremely gentle; for just a second, it seemed as if it might have been hiding something behind that sort of tone, but even that impression was lost in an ocean of soft, careful emotions. These sort of feelings... No matter what was buried beneath them, they were definitely genuine. "It's really alright if you sleep now. Ryner."

                              As he ended by calling the other's name yet again, Sion finally found the strength to move. Only a little, delaying that weakness in his entire body for just one more second, he managed to push himself away from the tree. An inch -- that was all he really needed -- before he gave in at long last and just slumped to his knees. In one abrupt move -- maybe too abrupt, but it was really all he could do at the moment -- he pulled Ryner down with himself as he fell, unable to sustain his own weight anymore. But even so, those arms wrapped around the other only held on, tightly, as if trying to shield him. It wasn't a bad fall at all. It felt almost well-deserved, as Sion just sat there, Ryner still pulled to himself, legs gathered weakly beneath himself as he was still conscious that Ryner's own knee was still just as distinctly rested somewhere between them. Softly, he allowed his back to fall against the tree once more, pulling the other along.

                              "If that's what you really want... I'll watch over you."

                              However, this wasn't how it should have gone, in the end. He was supposed to be giving Ryner shelter. He was supposed to let the other rest in his arms, closely held, just like that... and really watch over him. Sion would have really protected him. It would have been perfect -- everything would have been fine, as this was really what he wanted, and yet... The very next moment...

                              As he flinched only a little, Sion's hands trembled. His fingers lost their hold in the other's hair and his hand weakly fell down from there, wrist finding Ryner's shoulder instead -- and the nape of his neck, only a little, finding a resting spot of some sort. His other weakly clawed almost pathetically at Ryner's side as those fingers tried to find something to hold on to as well, somehow managing to avoid the injury there by miracle, and... His shoulders shook. He was suddenly, just like that, way too weak, and trembled fully, still half-trapped under the other. He himself seemed surprised as that happened, almost overwhelmed as everything went on by itself, without his control. It was as if a million tensions returned all of a sudden, from where he'd thought they were gone. Everything... All of last night, the weight of what he'd done, the memory of what he'd witnessed just earlier as Ryner was hurt at the hands of assassins sent after him... Even the stress of the other possibly really dying this time. None of it had been gone. It was all definitely there, and no matter how much he pushed it away... It wouldn't disappear. Sion's eyes could only helplessly widen as he lost any conscious sense of himself. ...And it wasn't even really just that. Suddenly, as he scrambled to try and remember, it felt as if he hadn't truly been able to let go of problems for years. As if all he'd been doing was pushing them all right there, into that one single corner, stupidly thinking it could hold them forever.

                              In the end, he'd really wanted that answer. Even as he was caught earlier, between knowing what he deserved and not thinking of what he wanted to hear but didn't expect to... He'd really wanted it more than anything else in the world.

                              ...The answer that Ryner would stay.

                              "S-Sorry," he weakly apologized yet again, words almost just lost in the back of his throat, barely slipping tiredly past his lips. "Sorry, Ryner... I'm supposed to be... doing something about this... right...? I have to be..."

                              The shaking in Sion's shoulders interrupted his words, and he stopped to draw breath, as if trying to stabilize himself with the help of cold air. To suddenly give his body a jolt, and stop everything -- freeze it. However, even that ended up shaky, lips trembling as the air was drawn in slowly between them. He hopelessly tried to block everything out, but there was really... in the end, just too much. The more he tried to control it, desperation overtook him as he realized that he couldn't. He tried, again and again, and nothing would help. Regardless of what he wanted, regardless of any command... calm just wouldn't return. There was, instead, only panic. This sort of feeling... was something Sion didn't understand, with his logic and reason and sense. With everything he normally was, he couldn't comprehend what he was feeling right now. In the time it took to stabilize one emotion -- one single thought -- a thousand others escaped through his body. ...He didn't even know how long it had been since the last time he felt actually rested. Since the last time he'd truly had nothing to think about -- nothing to worry about. Everything... was always still there. Even in those casual moments, when Sion laughed and supposedly had relaxed... Everything was still there. He was just pausing it, stashing everything carefully away as he enjoyed those lighthearted moments... Which, in the end, weren't genuine. Because his heart hadn't been light in probably years.

                              Sion had to be unwavering. All the time. He had to be perfect.

                              But he wasn't.

                              "The truth is..." he said all of a sudden, almost as if he'd just discovered that himself. "I'm probably the one relying on you."

                              Even now, that was exactly what he was doing. Unable to do anything but tremble like that, so closely against the other -- more rather being held by him by now rather than holding him, like this had started off. Those arms that he had originally embraced Ryner with... Were now probably just hands trying to cling pathetically to him.

                              "I'm supposed to be handling everything... I... By myself, I should be able to..."

                              Handle everything.

                              But it was always like this, instead. He'd depended on the other, to push back those other things for even a bit. Ryner had been the only one he'd still been able to be Sion with. The only one with whom he'd truly managed to spend even a few genuine moments away from everything else. Even as he knew that the place he stood in wasn't one that other people should know of or reach... and that his path was really something like that, that he should shoulder all by himself, not knowing any hesitation, fear or regret about this... He hadn't been able to let go of one thing. ...Of the only person he'd actually wanted to be with, even during those many moments he couldn't. Through every single one of them, even while moving ever forward as was required of him... He'd probably really just wished he could be out there, wherever Ryner was.

                              His voice still wavered.

                              "To be honest, Ryner, I... probably really don't want to----"

                              Be alone.

                              He just couldn't stop himself.

                              "Even if I have to, I..." Sion paused, forcing a chuckle, the slight smile that managed to curl his lips obviously an act of pure force, brought through some impossible effort of willpower. It only really looked pained, as if it physically hurt to display it. "Ahaha. I shouldn't be telling you all of this either, I think. Even though I can't help it. It's you, so before I can think of it, I..."

                              Softly, his shoulders finally sagged. Tension slipped at long last from Sion's body, as if simply saying all this had released it -- as if it had released it for real, unlike all those other times when it probably merely slipped back into hiding.

                              "Ah... I can't do this." He'd really given up. Slowly, guiltily almost, but without any single trace of hesitation, he shifted himself slightly away and his eyes sought Ryner's own, fixing themselves steadily there. "Ryner," he quietly asked. "Stay. ...With me." There was nothing else, except that request. "I want you to stay with me."


♔ ♔ ♔ -------------------- xx ↴ ↴ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S 哀しみのない世界 ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ x
✭ ✭ ✭ xxxx x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ AS I LIE GENTLY THAT IT SOMEHOW EXISTS xxxxxxxxxx
▱ ▱ ▱ 君が気付かないように xx ﹙﹙ x I N x S U C H x A x W A Y x Y O U x W O N ' T x N O T I C E x ﹚﹚ xx ▱ ▱ ▱ 包んであげたい 僕が盾になる xx ﹙﹙ x I x W A N T x T O x E N V E L O P x Y O U x ﹚﹚ xxxxxxxx
▭ ▭ ▭ x x I'LL BE YOUR SHIELD x x x ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxxxxxxxxxxx
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Plane Between Planes's avatar

Star Seeker

15,050 Points
  • Inquisitor 200
  • Love Machine 150
  • Hive Mind 200
User Imagexxxxxxx

x 君 の 手 を 握 り し め x ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
↓ ↓ ↓ xx T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x ▾ ▿ ▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ xxxx
▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ I'D LIKE TO SEE FOR HOW LONG I CAN STOP TIME LIKE THIS ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxx
▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x xxxxx
x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x xxxxxx
▪▪ x 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 xx ⋮⋮ xx 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 x ▪▪xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬x ↱↱ A TRANQUIL MEMORY FROM BEFORE BEING BORN x▬ ▬ xxx


                              In the aftermath of everything he'd suddenly said, the first feeling that washed over Sion once that impending need -- that broken state -- had been run down... was definitely not something pleasant. He was afraid -- no, he was worried; he felt extremely vulnerable right then, so much that it made him realize he'd never been this open before, probably ever. He'd never shown someone this much of himself in that sort of desperate fashion, he'd never displayed so much of his weakness... He'd really, really, honestly bared more of himself in front of Ryner right now than he had in front of everyone else put together during his entire life. There was no defense in place anymore; no shield; no mask. He had nothing that would protect him right then if something were to go wrong... This sort of thing wasn't supposed to happen. It was one thing if Sion broke down in his office, alone, or punched a wall in some dark corridor, cursing his own lack of strength, with no one to ever know... And it was completely different if he became such a mess in front of Ryner, in here, unable to stop himself from thoughtlessly blurting out all those things for the other to hear. What am I doing? Even as he'd asked himself that, only more words had formed by themselves. I have to stop. He tried to reason with himself like this, and it made sense in his head... But yet his mind wouldn't calm. Stop. Stop. Now, right now. Stop. Even as he tried to command himself like that, nothing worked; nothing came to an end, and he'd just kept talking weakly like that. Almost as if he was pleading with Ryner -- no, begging him, even -- to stay close; to let Sion cling to him just as pathetically as he had. It was a really... terribly weak, awfully pitiful state. Sion himself was pitiful. At that moment... he probably hated himself. Resented himself, for really not being able to do anything about this; for really losing control as far as he had.

                              And he was confused. He didn't know what to do in this sort of situation -- had no clue about how to deal with it. What sort of look should be on his face now that it happened, how should he act about it, how... should he face Ryner? Should he play it all off lightly? Should he stay serious, the way he felt? He didn't know anything. He didn't feel at all like this was alright, he didn't feel good. He felt... only guilty, and scared, and worried, and unsure. He couldn't even really explain what had happened, exactly. He couldn't tell... a single thing. Right now, Sion was completely lost; for the first time in his life, he hadn't managed to keep track of himself. He felt suddenly tired, as if he'd made some sort of enormous effort... and there was no tension left. Even though all of those uneasy emotions crossed through him, there was no strength in his body -- no strength in himself, either -- to actually get worked up about any of it. Everything... felt oddly dulled, and washed out and... he was really exhausted. ...Had he just broken down? Really broken down, without any chance of controlling himself after the very first second, like he usually did, and stopping himself? ...He'd really been unable to push anything back, and carefully measure everything he was showing, and saying, and doing. He hadn't kept any of it in check at all, not even the tiniest bit.

                              It felt unreal, and Sion was dizzy. His head seemed to swim as the world blurred slightly around him...

                              And Ryner was silent.

                              That silence made another odd knot catch in his chest, right in the middle, silently throbbing in there somehow. It was that same sort of fear, that same kind of strange worry -- mixed with embarrassment -- mixed with confusion -- mixed with that queasiness from his stomach... And maybe with some kind of panicked twinge from somewhere even deeper inside his chest. So much so that he couldn't bear it, and so... his eyes, which had slowly fixed themselves on the ground after he finished speaking and he couldn't make sense of himself, now finally lifted from there again. No matter what, he had to see Ryner. He had to find out why the other was silent, even though thinking of it made him restless, and even though he was this scared of that fact. He wanted to know. At the same time, he was afraid of knowing. To the point he was worried he might not be able to deal with that kind of thing at the moment... He was reluctant. He was really reluctant, but there was no way he could stop himself from wanting to see. With his own eyes, definitely...

                              Ryner...

                              ...was ever so softly... just gently... looking right back at him. Just plainly, and openly, looking at him, so much so that Sion found himself trapped, in a sense, in those completely honest, genuine brown eyes that seemed like they had nearly nothing to hide at the moment. It was so very different from himself. The exact opposite of someone like him, who always tried to mask his emotions and never show what he was truly thinking or feeling, because that's what seemed best. For Ryner, there was nothing like that. There was no doubt or hesitation in just being himself. And, just for a moment, to Sion who couldn't do something like that... It seemed really amazing. It seemed to take a strength so much unlike anything fake he could have ever wrapped over himself to mask weakness. This... was definitely true strength. Ryner was strong; because he could be like this, no matter how difficult it was, and how scary it could become to put himself out there like that. ...So much, that it felt unfair for Sion to be doing anything else in return. At that moment, if he wasn't also honest... He'd be the worst kind of person. He'd be disrespecting that sort of effort, that Ryner had taken only for him. Just for his sake. And so, as his golden eyes stayed fixed on those of his friend, they lost their edge -- and just became entirely mellow, almost obedient. Responding to the other's, his own expression suddenly softened completely. He stopped trying to backtrack over his recent failure and fix the cracks in his composure... and just let everything go. Right then, he stopped fighting. He stopped even thinking of it. All that mattered...

                              In front of him, this was Ryner. Ryner, who was so much of a better person than him, and who, with that unwavering strength, had definitely won and earned this sort of sway over his emotions, and state, and attention. Right then, that locked gaze wasn't even enough; Sion wanted to touch him. He wanted to feel him; every single bit, in every single possible way. He listened to Ryner speak and his hand twitched, almost moving to fly to the other's mouth; as though if his fingers were to fall upon those lips and feel every move -- and absorb it -- he could have tightly grasped every word and not let it go. He could have made sure that every single sound reached him, every single part of the message, without the air between them stealing any of it. Without anything else putting a single dent in that answer. Because it was the reply that he'd wanted. The reply that he'd hoped for. Every single bit of it, more clearly honest than ever, was exactly what he had wished for. He'd known; he'd already known, in the end, that Ryner wanted to stay with him -- that Ryner would never actually leave. And yet he'd still feared it. He'd still doubted himself, his ability to guess always thrown off when it came to the other. But now he wouldn't have to anymore -- because the other was confirming it, by himself. That he'd be by Sion's side. That he'd let Sion have him. ...And so, he wanted Ryner close. As close as possible, much closer than this, unbelievably near to him.

                              And, almost like a response to that fact, the other's fingers ran through his hair ever so softly, brushing it back.

                              That... right then, that sort of sensation was probably the most comforting touch he'd ever experienced. Quietly, without even so much as one trace of protest, Sion submitted to it. He accepted it calmly, his hands which had weakly almost fallen away from Ryner stopping there, midway, and hovering absently still close to the other. It was fine. It was alright not to hold on so tightly, and not to show that sort of desperate need anymore, because he had Ryner. Sion had Ryner, all to himself. Every little bit of him. He had Ryner, right there. Not a single question remained anymore about this. So Ryner could have him as well. In the relief that he felt, just a little, relaxing under that touch and giving himself completely to it, Sion's face showed a truly exhausted expression. A tired, almost meek sort of thing -- with a different feel from defeat, but similar at the same time. A willing surrender of sorts; as if he'd just been persuaded completely. His eyes never left the other's face, scouring it deeply, the color in them still almost melted somehow, their usual clever, sharp glint somewhat subdued under an odd sort of calm... and under guilt, and apology... and gratitude all the same. He was apologizing for making the other do this. For breaking down in front of him like that... But at the same time, he knew it was alright. He knew, as long as he understood what the other was giving him, with that strange sort of kind, gentle happiness that he showed and with those confident promises, and as long as he accepted it like he should... It was fine. Ryner was giving him all of this. Ryner wanted to give him all of this, and there was no way to react except be honestly grateful. There would be no putting on a facade, and no pretending to be strong; no acting coldly, no rejecting the need for someone's help or support. Sion had to accept it, exactly like that. He was going to receive all of it, because otherwise he'd be disrespecting the other's good will. He'd be stepping all over Ryner's intentions, which were simply for him.

                              That's why, he stayed put. The silver-haired male, who was usually able to impose over everything and everyone else, just elegantly keeping himself at a distance... The noble, unreachable man with that sort of proud, self-assured stance and slightly cold gaze that he had... The King of Roland was now simply Sion. Really just Sion, who sat there quietly and gave in to his friend, letting Ryner have him completely. No objections. No barriers. No caution or second thoughts, and no reluctance at all.

                              If it was Ryner, he'd accept this.

                              This touch through his hair, those fingers barely brushing his ear, almost as if they soothed his every worry for real right there... Were really everything he wanted. He had needed to have this, no matter how wrong it was. No matter how unfair it was, with everything he'd done to the other -- everything he was still going to hide from Ryner, because it was better that way. Even if Sion was honest right now, there were things that went beyond that. He could bare his heart to the other, but Sion's mind, and the thoughts in his head, would never be open in the end. So this was selfish. This was really not right to the other, and yet... Sion wanted it. He wanted Ryner to do this; to be this close to him, to treat him this gently. He really... couldn't give this sort of thing up. He couldn't reject it. In all honesty, he was probably about to slump against the other in turn, just lightly, and rest there, quietly asking to be allowed to stay for just a few moments like that. He would have really been truly happy right then if he could. But, before he did, it seemed...

                              "Hm?" The other's words softly pulled him from his distraction a little, and he only calmly just focused his attention again. "Ah... That's right. I'm not going to deny it right now, I'm pretty tired." Ryner was right; he was really exhausted, so much so he wasn't even sure if he could really gather the strength to pull himself up from here again at the moment. With Ryner this close, there was most likely really no chance. However, that wasn't what this was about. The honest answer came from the decision he'd made; Sion's mind stayed perfectly constant once it was made up. There was no single trace of a lie; no attempt at masking any of this from his friend. He just listened attentively, earnest eyes just taking in every sign, every trace of expression that Ryner was showing, and Sion's own face didn't change from that genuine content and acceptance from then. He only gave a small nod, completely assured, just like he was certain right then he'd probably really listen to it; even though it was an unexpected thing, whatever Ryner's request at the moment, he'd probably heed it. "Alright," he quietly responded, face serious -- and maybe just a little bit curious. "Let's hear it. What do you want me to do?"

                              He was almost distracted. Even though he meant every word, and would really listen to Ryner, part of Sion was really almost lost -- for the first time, a good kind of lost, unlike before. There was the gentle touch of fingertips still over his skin -- as it seemed to leave traces of welcome, pleasant warmth even as his bangs were brushed to the side. This... Above all, this was definitely intentional. All of it was something that Ryner was voluntarily doing; both words and actions came purposely, by the other's willing design. That call of Sion's name, in itself, was powerful enough in that half-mouthed, gentle state alone, to bring an electric shiver down through the silver-haired male's body, running delicately along his spine -- as delicately as that word itself had been spoken. That sensation seemed to spread through his body, warming him strangely somehow, and it drifted back up almost, as if trying to merge with that feeling of the hand pulling his bangs back and revealing the full image of his face. That face, which even now was the same; it didn't hide, and it had nothing to obscure or to mask. Slowly, Sion's head tilted a little, almost on its own, as the hand that hovered still lightly over Ryner's side flinched, only a little. His mind might not have realized what Ryner intended, but his body probably did, reacting accordingly on its own and helping the other -- adjusting the angle; perfecting it together with Ryner, so that when those lips finally fell upon skin, everything would be flawless. In that move, Sion's other hand as well slid from Ryner's shoulder, where it would have been a hindrance, and came to mirror the one on his waist, falling just lightly against the other's opposite side. The tips of all of his fingers just rested comfortably over bare skin -- and didn't try to grasp, or to clutch at anything at all. They reflected the same gentleness of that warmth he felt on his forehead, accepted the other just as naturally as the lost, mellow expression that still played on his elegant features -- now more delicate and softer than ever as he received this sort of gesture.

                              This was really a planned, purposeful action.

                              There was no way around that realization, as Ryner seemed to almost be offering it to him, softly insisting almost, until Sion received even that message. That warmth spread to his body as breath fell lightly over his skin, tickling it only a little, and from that sensation of something immensely soothing on his skin... just a little, his heart seemed to respond. It sent some sort of impulse through his whole chest, for only a second, that feeling almost numbing all of his muscles as it spread through his body. Every single bit of him didn't want to move anywhere; every single fragment of his conscious had wanted this. This was what Sion had needed. There was no tension, no pressure, no resistance at all, but merely that same calm sort of acceptance -- that boundless sense of gratitude to the other. This was probably better than if the other had kissed him -- really kissed him -- just earlier as he had him pinned to that tree with a thousand different things struggling inside him. It was probably infinitely better, as this was most likely... truly, completely, what Sion required. Nobody had done this for him in a long while. As that thought drifted through his head, it carefully pulled a soft, distant memory from his mind. The memory of a beautiful woman, with silken long hair much like his own, who had comforted him so long ago he could barely really recall it. As sad as it was, as painful as that felt, he only remembered it vaguely. But this... This definitely resembled that, although at the same time it wasn't the same. By far, by such a long mile, it wasn't the same thing at all. But, as the one thing that definitely did overlap, it served to comfort him. Entirely, it soothed all of his worries and fears at the moment, pushing every single bit of them back, just like he himself, on his own, had no longer been able to do.

                              Ryner. Ryner.

                              There was only the other's presence, taking over all of his senses -- and occupying all of his mind. Even if his face completely burned up under that touch -- under that weight-like almost, rather overwhelming sense of the other around him, over him -- this was fine. It wasn't the same kind of heat as before, the sort that rose up all of a sudden, that protested. This was a subtle, invisible kind of thing, which felt entirely purposely transmitted to him by Ryner. There was nothing wrong. There was nothing to fight against, or even a single detail that fell out of place. ...So much so that Sion hadn't even noticed it when his eyes drifted shut in response, completely at peace. He really only realized it later, when another touch called to him, reminding him that there had been a proposal before, and the other's considerate moves had all probably just been in preparation for that. Ryner had really probably only tried to fully assure Sion before it. ...A proposal? An offer? Suddenly, it felt more like that rather than the request Ryner had named it. Sion's eyes opened and flicked insecurely down to the hands that held his, and then back to the face of his friend. It wasn't a bad sort of insecurity -- right then, nothing between them could have been bad -- but he was, in all honesty, curious. That quiet, calm gaze silently questioned.

                              ...Yes. No doubt, this was different. This was definitely different, fundamentally so, from that pleasant, dear memory in his head. At the same time as this had been better than being pinned to that tree, it had also been worse in the end; it felt like less, so soon after something like that. As that warmth so carefully left him, Sion felt almost empty somehow, and conscious all of a sudden of the temperature of the real air around them -- as rather chilly for how half-dressed they both currently were. This wasn't a sort of thing he'd experienced before in such a manner, most likely. The silver-haired male had felt a pull towards people many times; he'd felt the need to get closer to others, and win them for himself. He'd felt affection, and he'd experienced close, genuine friendships; he'd enjoyed the company of others, and given his own in return. He'd guided others, he'd tried to protect them, he'd been a leader. But this was still different. This sort of thing... He really, really, undeniably wanted the other. Close, really close. Not in the same way he'd wanted people before, not just for company or for some sort of purpose; that was part of it, yes, but this reached far beyond even all of that put together. There wasn't only that fear of the other going away, which had just earlier caused Sion to try and keep him from such. It wasn't that sudden; wasn't something that new, but more rather felt like it had built over time, been denied along with everything else the way Sion worked, and now it was finally, also just like everything else had done, breaking out. This sort of feeling... was different still. It didn't come from thoughts -- although thoughts did still form, mostly observing details of the other such as his warmth or the feeling of his skin over Sion's, or the shape of his lips, that was not, in the end, where what Sion was feeling stemmed from. More rather, weren't those very things that he noticed, themselves, the source for something like that? And, as if responding to exactly all this, the other's words called gently to him yet again, echoing what was hidden behind that sort of thoughts.

                              I want you to sleep with me.

                              Echoing... Echoing? At first, Sion didn't properly process that message. He only remained in a daze for one extra second, trying to gather his own feelings, almost like reflex. ...This was too far; it suddenly jolted him way too far from where he had been. Like a thousand steps skipped all at once. I want to reach out and have you for myself. Just the same, I want you to have me. Those things had definitely been in the back of his head; no, not even really his head, some place else that somehow seemed to resonate even more at the moment. He hadn't clearly gotten to them just yet, but he probably would have. And yet this... This was far more direct. This was too open. It made him conscious, all of a sudden, that this was probably where he'd have gotten if he'd continued along from his start. This was really the point he would have reached if he'd gone on... but he was going to stop. He'd intended to stop from the start, and not think of it. By himself, he really never would have gotten this far. However, right now...

                              Sion's eyes widened all of a sudden as he finally realized what sort of trail he was following, and what Ryner had asked him. He instantly flinched, and his whole body rediscovered tension again as every single muscle responded at once, stiffening and reacting to that all too sudden a revelation. It all responded, because he'd definitely wasted his actual response time, and the other was more than certainly touching him, and...

                              ...tugging him down. Ryner was tugging Sion after himself. Arms wrapped around him, drawing him close and pinning him into place. And, in that sort of state, the only thing Sion could do in response...

                              "Wh--- Ah, wai--- What?" he managed to breathe out quickly in-between spells of surprise and attempted recovery. Sion's head shook back and forth just a little, almost as if he were desperate to clear it of something right then, to pull something down from the top. And just as he at least appeared to steady himself... It ran through his mind all over again. He was shocked, and yet fairly calm and methodical about things as he thought... and yet not. "Ryner, I--- Now? Here?" That sort of thing was asked with wide eyes, air held back in his chest to the point where it was nearly painful, as he fell all too still. Apparently, this wasn't a question of yes or no, even, at all; but more rather a matter of place, and time, and conditions, but it wasn't as if Sion actually realized even a fragment of that sort of thing at the moment. His voice grew increasingly panicked, actions erratic, just weakly half-opposing the other -- by awkwardly shifting, or trying to press a hand down and stop him but missing the other's shoulder entirely -- in manners that didn't even really do anything, much like frantic, completely target-less or attention-less moves in general tended to be. Sion must have definitely completely lost any trace of reason or sense as he only continued to be taken aback. He froze, and although his tone was firm enough now, he still didn't seem fully there with the other. "In this sort of condition, that's impo--- Ryner, I can't---"

                              Sion found himself suddenly far too close to the other; even though he'd been much closer than this, even earlier, and he'd been rested in a very similar fashion or even more incriminatingly so with him two nights ago... Right now, it was really much too close. The other was still talking -- saying something -- but Sion only half-heard it. He was far too busy trying to shift himself, propped clumsily and awkwardly up on one elbow... However, that, at the moment, only seemed to bring him even closer over the other, as Ryner's arm stopped and pinned him in place just as surely. The more he struggled against that hold, the more he only unwittingly managed to bring himself into it, squirming as lightly as he could at the other's side -- trying to touch him or move against him as little as possible. ...Although Ryner's face really didn't demonstrate a matching mindset to this in the slightest -- the brown-haired male seemed to not even be in the same world as Sion, in fact. That attitude was definitely far too relaxed, far too careless, just casual and...

                              "Ah..." This time, Sion really froze as the realization suddenly hit him -- he finally really processed and understood what the other was saying to him as he'd been too preoccupied with trying to get away. So he stopped, completely blocked right then, eyes wide and fixed, lips slightly moving as if he'd have wanted to think out loud and make it easier for himself to figure things out. To spell everything out, in simple terms, so that even he'd accept it for certain right then. His chest lightly heaved as he panted a little from holding his breath in the middle of desperate struggles just earlier, shifting lightly again and again against Ryner's side which caught every single one of those moves. And he was far too conscious of those arms still around him, which also absorbed the same motions. Too many ideas ran through his head, and he simply slowed, unable to find his sense. "Close to... with... sleep..." he breathlessly echoed parts as he quietly held as still as humanly possible. "You'll be with me even... I, ah."

                              ...Of course. This was Ryner. Suddenly, everything came to light within that single conscious recollection. It was perfectly normal for the other to be saying things about sleep, and because it was him, that's automatically what it really, literally should have meant. Sleep. Even if he added things like that along with the word, Ryner meant actually sleeping. Because Sion himself had just earlier offered something like that; before he'd lost track of it as things suddenly overwhelmed him completely and he'd let everything else slip out as well, he'd definitely told Ryner that he could sleep. So the other had just been following up from that... had only been trying to draft Sion along. As he realized all of this, crystal clear, bright as pure daylight, the expression that must have appeared on Sion's face was probably indescribable. Subtly, behind a mask of forced calm that he couldn't help but have because that's who he was, dulling everything into less than what he actually felt... This was probably horror. It had to be, because this amount of sudden feeling definitely couldn't be called embarrassment anymore. ...And yet, even so... Even in that, Sion wasn't put off. He wasn't averse to anything that had been thought of, or even anything close or similar to that sort of feeling. There was only a hidden, strong panic in the back of his head, behind those now-glassy golden eyes that stayed open and fixed on nothing particular, lost by themselves in surprise. Almost as if he himself found it hard to believe in all that had happened. Was it for real? ...Had he really just...? Maybe he really couldn't bring himself to feel bad, in the true sense of the word, but he most certainly needed to hide.

                              Slowly, as carefully as humanly possible, and without a waste of any other moves, Sion let his elbow slip on the ground, arm sliding out from below him and letting him finally fall in full. Just like that, his face was buried against Ryner's shoulder, refusing to come out from there again despite the distinct feel of bare skin.

                              "Ahhh..." With that sort of loud, purposeful, definitely defeated and resigned kind of sigh, Sion gave up, resting right there. His calm was found yet again, as he simply, just stoically, accepted it all. Or maybe it wasn't stoic; maybe, in the end, it just really didn't take any effort at all? "I really lost my head this time. Sorry. I really... pfff... ha ha... ahahaha..." Suddenly, Sion was laughing. His shoulders shook lightly, unobtrusively, as every single sound that he couldn't block in his throat was caught cleanly into his friend's shoulders, and he only curled closer. That sound, right then... It was really genuine. For the first time since before what had happened last night, Sion was really laughing again, with that child-like, honest amusement he had sometimes, and... he really let go. Of everything. He let it all go, resting there against Ryner, and laughing happily at himself, not letting a single trace of anything else slip into that voice anymore. Because... he was actually happy. In the end, he was happy again, because no matter what he'd just done, Ryner was there. Right there, with him, the other's bare skin catching Sion's shaky breath as his shoulders finally fell again and started to still. "...aha... haaa, Ryner, I really need to get out more," he commented lightly, trying to inhale as deeply as possible from where he was. "...If I keep staying at the castle like this, I might seriously just become entirely warped. For real."

                              As he said something like that, right then, Sion didn't really consider how that might have sounded for the other, who was unaware of things like that completely. What exactly was it that happened which could have Sion making a comment like this? Even though it had been a joke, there had to be something there for it to be prompted like this at all, in the first place. For someone else, what he said would really come off that way. But Sion remained pretty oblivious to that side of things. He wasn't concerned with it, because it was really only a very tiny bit of the truth. Technically, fairly enough, Sion did have an excuse for being able to interpret what Ryner had said in the manner he had. Because, indeed, if he'd been back in Roland and nicely playing his part as the king, like he should... Any offer of that sort, of sleeping with someone, would be definitely made exactly with that kind of meaning. Although it was hardly everyday occurrence, it had actually happened often enough, so that Sion was quickly becoming a master of running away, or evading by faking a busy, preoccupied state. But that hadn't really been seriously meant here at all; he'd really only cited it as a joke. And so, he stayed peacefully where he was, finally able to breathe again and relax against the other at last. Slowly, as if he seemed to remember what the original idea had been, he let out a small sigh, almost like exhaling the last traces of agitation, and his arm slowly slung itself over the other, resting across his chest and carefully avoiding all injuries. At long last, Sion settled down like Ryner had been originally trying to get him to do.

                              From there...

                              "Hey, Ryner," he called lightly out to the brown-haired male, and suddenly it felt almost as if something long lost had been restored. Ever so subtly... Sion's tone was definitely mischievous. No, more than that; it was teasing, like it had been with Ryner so many times before this. It was honestly... really, the same old kind of tone, returned between them, as he only continued. "So sleeping with you will really fix everything all of a sudden? ...Hahaha... pfff..." Laughing briefly again, just a little, Sion shifted himself lightly up, enough to lift his head from the other's shoulder and carefully scour his face with sharp eyes. That usual Sion was definitely finally back; a clever, witty, lively look had returned into that golden color, giving it its former, usual bright glint yet again. A thin smirk danced on his lips, as Sion adopted an all-knowing, patronizing tone which definitely looked down on Ryner on purpose. "Take it as honest, friendly advice," he said, with a false-affected, conspiratorial air. "If you find some girl you like, seriously don't ask her something like that." However, he himself seemed to stop, and all on his own, for only a second... let a single vague trace of seriousness cross over his features as he let his head drop back down, this time flatly on Ryner. "Even though I probably..."

                              ---really don't want you to find any.

                              There was no way Sion could actually continue with something like that, so instead he fell peacefully quiet -- just naturally, voice trailing off and face finding its way just lightly against Ryner's neck. Almost just like it had been that morning when they woke up... except this definitely wasn't an accident; right now, especially almost, it wasn't one bit a mistaken or unconscious gesture. He wasn't asleep, eyes very much still open and breath clearly too controlled to be only reflex, as he only curled slightly closer -- guiltily almost -- stealing even the last trace of space he could find between himself and the other. It didn't matter if he'd regret this at a later time; it didn't even matter how it might feel to remember the next time their eyes met after this closeness would end. Right now, he wanted it all. He wanted Ryner, just to himself. That's why that only half-spoken sentence had actually ended that way in his mind. ...Ahhh, really. There must have been something really wrong with his head at the moment if he'd admitted that sort of thought even just to himself. But it didn't matter right then. Because, if even for only one second... Sion felt like he had exactly what he wanted, right there, in the warmth that he felt from the other as he was able to be held this close to Ryner.

                              Sleeping... really might not have been so bad an idea. Just this once, it really might not.


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x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S 哀しみのない世界 ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ x
✭ ✭ ✭ xxxx x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ AS I LIE GENTLY THAT IT SOMEHOW EXISTS xxxxxxxxxx
▱ ▱ ▱ 君が気付かないように xx ﹙﹙ x I N x S U C H x A x W A Y x Y O U x W O N ' T x N O T I C E x ﹚﹚ xx ▱ ▱ ▱ 包んであげたい 僕が盾になる xx ﹙﹙ x I x W A N T x T O x E N V E L O P x Y O U x ﹚﹚ xxxxxxxx
▭ ▭ ▭ x x I'LL BE YOUR SHIELD x x x ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxxxxxxxxxxx
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Plane Between Planes's avatar

Star Seeker

15,050 Points
  • Inquisitor 200
  • Love Machine 150
  • Hive Mind 200
User Imagexxxxxxx

x 君 の 手 を 握 り し め x ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
↓ ↓ ↓ xx T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x x T I G H T L Y x G R A S P I N G x Y O U R x H A N D x ▾ ▿ ▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ xxxx
▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ I'D LIKE TO SEE FOR HOW LONG I CAN STOP TIME LIKE THIS ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxx
▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱▱ い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x x い つ ま で も こ の ま ま 時 を 止 め て み た い x xxxxx
x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x x t h e x w a r m t h x i ' d x f o r g o t t e n x a w a k e n s x xxxxxx
▪▪ x 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 xx ⋮⋮ xx 忘れてた温もりが 呼び覚ます安らぎ生まれる前の記憶 x ▪▪xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬x ↱↱ A TRANQUIL MEMORY FROM BEFORE BEING BORN x▬ ▬ xxx


                              There was an odd sense of really childish satisfaction to seeing Ryner's peace disturbed as he finally understood everything that had been so far only bothering Sion. Or, perhaps 'bother' wasn't the right word, but he'd definitely been really troubled, and now that the other was getting the same, it felt almost as if he'd squared off a duty. ...There had to be really more than one thing wrong with Sion's head at the moment, if he was now also enjoying a child's game like this, considering himself and the other 'even' now because he'd gotten back at him. But the truth was... he felt really happy. Once again, just like he always somehow managed to do, Ryner lightened the load off his shoulders somehow; it all really mattered a bit less if he could just be together with the other like this.

                              By himself, Sion really didn't know how to pause, not to mention stop, and all he did was work, and worry, and work hard some more, and then be endlessly disappointed when the results of one promising implement after another proved to be far less efficient than what he'd hoped. Or... at least that had used to be the case. Definitely, Sion felt far less naive now; it was much more difficult for him to expect miraculous things like a sudden, radical change, or actual results. In this world... nothing worked; everything was too rotten, the whole foundation of it was corruption itself, and nothing... nothing, ever changed. From the unbelievably confident, and doubtlessly idealistic youth he had been, Sion had become the complete opposite -- he was probably a man who realized his own powerlessness, his own lack of enough influence over things. The world couldn't be changed by one person's hands. It was really all an illusion. And so, slowly, what he'd originally enthusiastically been trying for had all turned into work; dry, methodical work, with no hopes and no dreams. Because there was no room for such things in this sort of goal. And he had to be conscious of that; because as long as Sion knew that... he could keep others from suffering the same sort of disappointment. Others, like Ryner and Ferris.

                              But, when he was with the brown-haired male, just a little, Sion managed to hide that kind of feelings even from himself. He managed to forget them for a while, or even if he remembered, he could ignore them. Was it maybe... because something far more important stood right in front of him at such times, in the end? It was probably rather warped or impossible that one single person could feel more important than the weight of a country -- no, even the weight of the world -- but... That's probably really how it was. Every time he spent time with Ryner, it felt almost like he gave in; no, he knew it for certain, he gave in for sure -- he was persuaded against his own common sense, and doing the wrong thing, and yet... There was also a part of him that told him this was correct. His heart, and all of those feelings; even though in the end they wouldn't matter, because he'd ignore them... while they were there, they were the ones telling him he'd made the wrong choice. He'd made it all along, and now, while he was with Ryner, he was finally choosing the right thing. It was really something like that.

                              And, if even for just a few moments, he listened to that... he ended up like this. Happy. If, for a bit, what went ignored was his mind instead, with that other side of things which was usually what ruled over him, he ended up happy. He had to have the right to at least a few moments of that. And so, tightly pressed against Ryner, with the full consciousness of the other's every breath, each move, each reaction, even each change in the other's temperature which had been definitely rising right now... he let everything go. It didn't matter if this whole misunderstanding had been embarrassing, or even more so really than just that, because in the end... This felt good. This was what he needed. The other was really his friend; his closest of friends, who had more of an impact on Sion than he'd ever know or realize. It was better like that, as long as Ryner also felt good. So, with gentle moves, as carefully as he possibly could, Sion responded to the needs of the other. He became suddenly aware all over again of the fact that Ryner was currently shirtless, and this time not a single trace of reluctance or hesitation about that was called up. No, instead there was, more rather, concern. That the other might be cold, and might not sleep comfortably because of something like that... and so Sion only curled over him as best as he could. He tried to envelop Ryner with the arm that he'd wrapped right back around him, and shifted himself better to press over the brown-haired male's side. He avoided only his injuries, as he really attempted to shield every single bit of the other from the chilly air around them. Of course, that sort of thing was impossible, but as much as he could, Sion would do this. He'd do this, because Ryner was really... truly dear and precious to him. And right then, he almost felt like he might have been the same to the other.

                              "Hm?" he softly responded, called out by the sound of that familiar, extremely warm voice. That voice which was equally soft, resonating with the feelings he'd just been forming, right now, in his own heart. Because that's how it was, in the end. Ryner always resonated with him, always knew him more than anyone else. He wasn't even sure if the other, half-pulled into near-sleep much more easily by comparison to Sion, with both their current conditions and how used they respectively were or weren't to actually falling into that state... actually realized what he was saying. He was telling Sion about being fine, but... While tending injuries was perfectly logical, what sort of reason was getting to sleep together? Ryner probably didn't even realize what sort of message he was giving anymore. And so, Sion's soft smile realized it for him, as the silver-haired male's hand which had found its way to Ryner's opposite shoulder in the whole mesh of their bodies, moved just a bit. Ever so delicately, it lifted for the slightest of moments, and the lightest imaginable touch of bare fingertips found Ryner's jaw -- and almost his cheek -- brushing it for only a second. He could listen to Ryner's heartbeat...? Yes. It was just like the other said. "That's right," Sion responded, with almost a small nod. "I'm really listening." Just slightly, careful not to disturb the peace of the other seeming to search for comfort somewhere in his hair, Sion shifted his head a bit more perfectly over the left side of Ryner's chest, as if to show that he really was doing just that. "I can hear everything. I know."

                              What exactly was that about? I know. Those were flawlessly confident, strong words, and as he was also finally able to close his eyes, ever so slowly put to sleep at last as well, even though he was not longer able to form the thoughts, Sion was sure that he did know. That he'd definitely... come across a truth of some sort, and he understood it.

                              ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰


                              The next time Sion was actually conscious of anything felt like a long while from when he'd last formed a coherent thought. Like a really long time. Everything around him was warm, and comfortable, and felt really soft and vague, so much so that he actually wasn't in a hurry to clear his thoughts. Even though he was aware -- with lots of training from falling asleep at the desk over his work and feeling that sort of pressure somewhere in the back of his head that always woke him up really soon afterwards -- that he'd slept for probably a really long time this once... he wasn't concerned. Because there was none of that pressure right now. There was something -- some sort of reason -- for which he could be sure that it was fine if he'd slept. That there was no problem, just this once, even if probably many hours went by and he rested there, just like that, undisturbed and not doing a thing. And so, he hesitated where he was, eyes softly fighting against opening and only shutting themselves more tightly as Sion's face lightly nuzzled... into that warm, soft something he rested against. Ah... Ryner. It was Ryner. He remembered that much, even if the thought was processed really slowly in his head at the moment... And he was sure something should have been wrong with that. He probably shouldn't be happy with the tip of his nose running lightly over bare skin as he absently shifted himself into a more comfortable position -- slightly spoiling himself, even -- or with his lips having been, only moments ago, so closely pressed right at the base of what definitely felt like an ear.

                              He'd been like this, really close to the other, probably all along. There were definitely signs of that, as his body felt just the tiniest bit stiff in that position, and when he moved there was definitely warmth fleeing his stomach and chest as chilly air reached them, which showed that those exact same parts of him had been pressed against the other for longer than a few minutes. Sion's eyes finally drifted open, just slowly, as he began to remember at last that the both of them had fallen asleep together, guided by Ryner's request... which had, with some difficulties, been properly received in the end. As his mind finally started to move and he really processed those thoughts, Sion found himself smiling warmly -- and softly, and comfortably -- as he blocked a small chuckle threatening to build in the back of his throat. There was really no trace of discomfort in his mind at the moment, or embarrassment; there wasn't even room for starting to feel that sort of thing. There was only this sense of perfect, complete ease and warmth and... real peace. He really felt happy. And Sion realized that, for the first time in his life and what felt like every possible incarnation of him that might have existed even before that... he was probably quite well rested.

                              Slowly, very carefully as he realized the other was probably still sleeping beneath him, Sion lifted his head, face softly leaving contact with Ryner's skin as it moved away from his neck and the side of his head. Blinking a little, taking things slowly as he cleared his view, he kept every move under strict check, as minimal as humanly possible, in order not to disturb his friend. Even if they'd probably been asleep for a long time... The other really deserved this. He'd been injured, and he'd really gone through a lot, all for his sake. All of it had been Sion's fault; even though they'd somehow managed to get this far in the end, the silver-haired male wouldn't forget that. He at least wanted to let Ryner rest, however long it took (even if that might be worryingly much with what the other was like), and wake up all on his own. ...Besides, he really didn't mind being close. As he cast a quick glance at the face of the other, Sion easily found a soft smile curling his lips, with no trace of a shadow or mask. This was the time when he usually could be honest; after all, if Ryner was asleep he could see nothing, he couldn't notice even a single bit of how much Sion showed him right then. Even if all of the warm, gentle feelings that ran through him at the thought of Ryner at the moment were to show on his face plain as day, the other wouldn't realize it. And that's why... Sion could do it. Right now, he really could let himself show that sort of soft, caring expression with no restraint whatsoever.

                              Maybe that was even what this was really about. All Sion might have wanted to do was, perhaps, not even related to Ryner waking up on his own, but just simply to him getting to see the other like this. Getting to show all the honesty he liked, without feeling restricted or limited by a single thing. And really... honestly watch over Ryner, just like he'd said. Even though his eyes drifted momentarily away, he knew they'd probably return to that face soon enough, and stay there, taking in every detail. All of which, just now, almost felt like he had entirely to himself.

                              However, for now he had to ascertain the details around them, so he focused on that, shifting as lightly away as he could, and lifting himself slightly up to properly look around. Strands of silver hair fell loose, tumbling quietly over his shoulder, but he didn't really pay attention to them aside from an absent hand scratching his cheek where they tickled him and not even really tucking them back. He felt a yawn playing in the back of his throat, so as his eyes drifted half-closed by themselves, he used his palm to delicately stifle that, looking around through the curtain of his own eyelashes. Even so, it was more than enough to notice that, by now, it had actually gotten completely dark. This was some hour of the night, and had Sion been able to see the moon from where he was, he would have probably had a better, more accurate estimation for which. Aside from the rather loud occasional cries of nightly insects and birds, he couldn't hear much of anything else, excepting the wind in the leaves and the occasional crack of a branch under some thing or another. Absolutely all of it seemed natural and perfectly relaxing, and Sion only found himself stretching his shoulders, only a little, by reflex. It didn't even become a conscious realization until he noticed, at some point in the middle, that he was pressing rather tightly against Ryner's side as he tensed to do that, and as some odd sort of shiver tried to cross through his body from that, he felt self-conscious all of a sudden. That... had definitely been a bit too much comfort, hadn't it? He'd gone so far as to almost even forget where he was, and... He probably didn't even want to admit that his body had just reacted naturally to the other's presence, as he wasn't quite paying attention.

                              Carefully, his eyes drifted back down to Ryner, head tilting a little to bring his face back in line with the other's. ...The distance between them was shorter than Sion had expected, as it seemed he was held in place when he'd moved more than he thought, and all of a sudden he became way too aware of the other's arms still around him, the same way they'd been from the start, when they'd both gone to sleep. ...One of Ryner's hands was clearly rested on his hip; that part had been something Sion actually hadn't managed to notice before. They weren't quite as close as they had been in the river or against the tree, because this was half-conscious, so there had been some degree of control... but right now, Sion was definitely extremely... aware. Aware of how the other's breaths were currently in line with his own neck, and they fell lightly over the skin there, getting lost into the collar of his shirt. Conscious of every single part of himself that touched Ryner, such as the hand he hadn't moved yet, elbow and forearm lost somewhere beneath his own side and palm pressed rather undeniably against the other's -- feeling every single bit of warm, bare skin it found there. Or the fact that he'd somehow yet again managed to let one of his knees find its way almost between Ryner's legs. His whole body felt suddenly weak, and as his heart skipped a couple of beats in his chest, Sion froze, afraid to move anymore. Every single move since he'd woken up had probably fallen against the other. That sort of idea couldn't leave his head at all, and it was as if the heat from all of those contacts, which he hadn't quite noticed, suddenly caught up with him now, rushing over his body. ...No; it definitely climbed to his face, and persisted there relentlessly, as probably some sort of color crept up right along.

                              Ahh, this really... had to be the fault of that misunderstanding they'd had. Everything was going to be weird for a while due to that; definitely, that was to blame. Sion repeated that in his head, almost as if it was essential to think it again once he'd decided that's how it was, and then lightly managed to exhale the breath he'd held in, afraid to even draw air. His gaze finally fell cleanly on Ryner's face from where it had been trying to wander and gain his own bearings and standing... and his eyes stopped by themselves, fixing nonchalantly straight on Ryner's lips.

                              ...Like that... it really was as if the only way he could -- the only way he should -- have the other wake up was not by himself after all. No, as easily as he could have right now, it felt almost like wasting a chance if he didn't... just... Sion should have him wake up, by ever so softly...

                              Something jolted him, all of a sudden, pulling him from that trail of thought. His hair... His hair had definitely caught on something, holding him back. Sion blinked, stopping himself as he realized he'd really drifted down closer over the other. As things stood now, their faces were really no more than possibly two bare centimeters apart, lips maybe even closer than that as Sion's head had already even started adjusting the angle.

                              This time, there was no denying how fast his heart beat in his chest. Just the same way as... there was really no way around the fact that he'd consciously done this. He'd been fully awake as he looked at the other; he'd processed every bit of closeness clearly through his mind, and then he'd just... Quietly, very quietly, Sion let a very slow breath fall through his lips, not realizing it cleanly landed right on Ryner's own face at the moment, as he forced himself to calm down. All he had to do was move away now that he'd caught himself... and yet, he didn't want to. As his eyes wandered over Ryner's features, studying every clean, delicate detail... There was really something special about the other asleep, just peacefully like that, which kept him clearly there. Sion realized he really still wavered -- he was torn between moving away and... actually... actually closing that distance. If he did something like that, definitely, everything would fall into place. Ryner was asleep. Ryner couldn't stop him. There would be something definite, and solid, and... This sort of ambiguous situation would definitely end.

                              With probably a way too concentrated expression, and all the color that could have possibly gathered up in his face... Sion wavered. Just like that, as his face actually slipped the tiniest bit even closer... he wavered.


♔ ♔ ♔ -------------------- xx ↴ ↴ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S x x A x W O R L D x W I T H O U T x S A D N E S S 哀しみのない世界 ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ x
✭ ✭ ✭ xxxx x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x どこかにあるって優しく嘘をついて x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ AS I LIE GENTLY THAT IT SOMEHOW EXISTS xxxxxxxxxx
▱ ▱ ▱ 君が気付かないように xx ﹙﹙ x I N x S U C H x A x W A Y x Y O U x W O N ' T x N O T I C E x ﹚﹚ xx ▱ ▱ ▱ 包んであげたい 僕が盾になる xx ﹙﹙ x I x W A N T x T O x E N V E L O P x Y O U x ﹚﹚ xxxxxxxx
▭ ▭ ▭ x x I'LL BE YOUR SHIELD x x x ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ xxxxxxxxxxxx
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Plane Between Planes's avatar

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XXXXXXXXXX ♈ ♈ X T H E Y X S A Y X IGNORANCE X I S X B L I S S
b u t x i x d o n ' t x t h i n k x i ' l l x b e x c o n t e n t x w i t h x i t xxxxx
EVEN ON THOSE NIGHTS STRETCHED OUT ACROSS EMPTINESS xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxx i x o n l y x w a n t x t o x l i v e x i n x t h e x p r e s e n t
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx I CHOSE
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                  The scolding he expected was, indeed, delayed in making itself heard. There was one problem with that, however. When he'd originally had the immensely childish thought of turning away from the approaching men so that he wouldn't have to deal with things, Souji hadn't expected it to be the actual case at all. He hadn't really thought such a move would truly result in him being left in peace. And so, when a few moments of silence initially really went by when they probably shouldn't have, the same move turned against him instead, becoming a disadvantage; as he couldn't tell what might have been going on, and found himself forced to turn his head once again. To check what exactly had happened, not without a distinct feeling of defeat somewhere in the back of his head... which was only accented more when, as expected, he was met rapidly with the unblinking, entirely serious and fixed dark gaze that the vice-commander was pointing at all three of them -- the foreigner, Souji himself, and even Saitou. And, while that he could face, not really ever afraid of the wrath of Shinsengumi's very own 'demon', the brunette swordsman found himself nearly shifting with unease and letting his eyes flick almost instantly away as soon as they met the face of the other man present there; that, he couldn't have really looked at right now, fully anticipating the carefully hidden disapproval he knew had to be there. ...More than anything else, Souji couldn't stand the idea of having possibly disappointed Kondou-san -- of having maybe troubled the man with something; not when all he wanted was actually...

                  Only to help.

                  With anything at all, any minor task that was possible, he wanted to be of use to that person.

                  "...?"

                  The moment, as well as his thoughts, would have probably continued on in the same fashion, if only a slight, barely noticeable move hadn't caught his attention right then; it was at the very periphery of his view range, but as someone who boasted himself a talented swordsman (and actually was on, undisputed), Souji was pretty much trained to see things like those. Even without conscious effort, without him even paying attention, his sharp green eyes had drifted slightly -- face or stance showing no other trace or sign of reaction -- and caught the move on their own, noticing it by reflex. Instantly, he had reacted to it -- although his instinct was so tuned, so impossibly sharp, that even at the same time as he saw it, he was able to class it as nothing he should have responded to; no threat to him. And that's why, on the outside, he kept completely still, only his mind working fast. In all truth, the whole thing was rather amusing as he came to realize what the girl had done -- whether she even realized it or not, actually, since he couldn't really tell that. A whole lot of things went through his head all at once, along with that notice -- that she really had, more or less consciously, almost retreated behind him. Why was that? Souji had no intention of playing the hero; it wasn't in his nature in the first place, and he wasn't Sano-san who would blindly protect any woman just because she was a woman. More than that, yet, he just wasn't all that moved by the misfortune of others, and had no intention of standing up for the weak or some concept like that. And in the first place, what made her even imagine he'd ever pick the side of a random foreigner he'd just met over people he'd known for years -- over his own comrades in arms? Heh. As he'd thought, she really was pretty odd. Somehow, with that sort of observation being confined casually to the back of his head and a fake sigh held back in his throat, everything seemed to drift away as well, far more easily than he would have thought; and, by the time Hijikata-san actually returned to glaring at him, Souji was ready as usual with a vague nonchalant smirk barely curling his lips.

                  "What's going on here?" the imposing black-haired male demanded in a stern voice, suspicious look still oscillating slightly between all of the three figures directly before him. Arms folded across his chest, looking every bit as threatening and unrelenting as ever, he seemed to decide it was Souji's fault just as usual, and settled on him in the end. "Care to explain what exactly it is you were doing?"

                  "Hm~" Souji was ready by then, to respond with his usual, irritatingly playful tone. "No matter how you look at it, we were searching her for that weapon Hajime-kun's holding." As if to make a point, he tilted his head slightly, with unmatched feigned surprise, as if questioning. "What, Hijikata-san, did you think we were doing anything else~?"

                  He didn't need to look to know Saitou had shifted slightly in his spot, tensing uncomfortably.

                  "Souji..." the other man near-cautioned in a quiet, low voice.

                  And, sure enough, the vice-commander's eyes had narrowed rather dangerously as a definite expression of annoyed displeasure could be picked up from his features. Almost on cue, his brow gave a barely noticeable twitch as he readied himself to say something. But, before he could start even so much as a single word...

                  "Toshi," a much calmer, more level voice made itself heard, cutting off the very attempt to say anything more -- and the moment almost, as if splitting through time. The slightly taller, shorter-haired male by the vice-commander's side gave his companion a firm, determined sort of look, that not even Hijikata seemed to contest, every single trace of conflict wiping itself softly from his face as he seemed to back off. Leave this to me, that kind of look had clearly said. And, for a few moments, the commander of the Shinsengumi was silent, remaining motionless with his gaze fixed on nothing. "...Souji..." he finally continued, his tone cautious as if choosing his words carefully, and facing difficulty of some sort to speak with the other right now. As he finally leveled his eyes, looking back up once again, his face definitely reflected the same sort of expression; somewhat tired, torn between some kind of different thoughts and emotions that couldn't make peace with each other -- and yet, through all that, his resolve remained constant. "We need to talk. Let's go inside."

                  Faced with that sort of thing, even Souji fell instantly -- almost ominously -- entirely silent. In a moment of far too perceptible, obvious change, even the last trace of good mood he might have still had moments earlier fled from his features, as only some sort of near-distressed expression replaced it. The kind of emotion that he couldn't keep from showing plain as day on his face. No matter how much he might have tried. Briefly, for only one moment, his lips twitched as if to speak; though no words formed, nor was there real intent to talk about anything. Standing there, for a little while longer, he only showed the face of having been befallen by some sort of catastrophe -- of someone caught at entirely the wrong time, who had been surprised in a moment of desperate shock that he could not overcome. And so, just powerlessly, he had to face that sort of thing he couldn't have defended against. ...That was the kind of expression his features read, though it disappeared quickly behind a thin line that his lips drew themselves into, somewhat akin to a sulk masked with care as green eyes darkened subtly and lost the flicker of life they had been displaying so naturally just earlier.

                  "Ah, is that so?" he answered mechanically, just like his usual self as far as choice of words and manner would go, but definitely not the same as before at all; so much that it didn't take knowing him in the slightest to notice the change. In the same way as his face, that sort of tone lacked all energy and all color. "Well, I guess I knew that." As he seemed to be done silently protesting to something only he knew, he finally spun abruptly halfway to look at the girl semi-hidden behind him; whose pointless show of defiance didn't seem to have ended just yet -- even without language, that sort of thing... Was it maybe because he himself was all too familiar with it? But Souji could all too easily tell, that she was putting on false bravado that didn't belong there at all. Though, after all, that didn't concern him; that wasn't what had been crossing his mind, but... "Is she attending too?"

                  "Stop stalling and get back inside," Hijikata cut in, nearly interrupting him; after all, that's probably as far as the vice-commander's patience went, Souji figured, as the black-haired man continued to grumble in obvious displeasure, heaving an obvious sigh. "Tch, asking pointless questions... This is a problem you created! We have to take care of it, that's more than obvious."

                  "Yes, yes," Souji found it in himself to give a somewhat recalcitrant response as he glared back at the foreigner from the corner of his eyes; though this was definitely different from before, and showed a far more subdued, possibly angry sort of standoffish behavior. "Got it."

                  And, as if everything were her fault -- which, to be honest, in his book was better than calling it his fault anyway -- Souji turned in full on the girl, hand lifting to grab her arm a bit more securely than necessary. With the same lack of care or concern as before, for the millionth time already that day, he began to force her to move; into the room regardless of any protests or opposition -- and regardless of her physical comfort as well. Taking trained, secure steps forward himself, he only left her no other option than to back off, returning fully into the room he had so unceremoniously pulled her from, himself, only too few minutes before. From behind, already, Saitou and Hijikata's voices could be heard, briefly discussing something in hushed, serious tones; for now, only the commander himself followed the two, keeping a careful, patient distance behind them.

                  "Souji," he cautioned with obvious disapproval. "That's enough. We don't even know who she is yet, so tone down the hostility."

                  ...Well, no matter how you looked at it, though, she was only a foreigner. And a stupid one too, at that.

                  "..." Scowling somewhat, face safely turned away at the moment so that the man couldn't see the odd, dark look crossing his face for only a moment, Souji stared hard at the blonde girl he was so impolitely handling around in a manner similar to the lowest of prisoners. For only a moment, his hand seemed to only grip her arm even tighter rather than do what he had been told; but as that went by, the impression might have as well just been an illusion, fingers loosening their grasp almost as fast as they'd formed it, and a bit of carefully applied last bit of force pushed the girl only two steps further into the room. "I suppose so," he responded at last, turning to finally face Kondou instead.

                  The other man had stopped somewhere a short distance away, and very carefully -- with every single bit of proper, dignified etiquette -- sat himself down on the floor, accompanied only by the mildest shuffling of fabric. His eyes only studied the two for the moment, before moving back to the door -- the view outside obscured by Hijikata who still hadn't finished his discussion entirely, but lingered in the doorway and looked most likely about to do so and join them. Eying the same thing, with visibly far more discontent and animosity, Souji contrasted the calm, careful demeanor of his commander entirely, as he simply flopped down to the floor with a dull thud right where he stood, legs crossed below him in a far more relaxed, comfortable position. Obviously this wasn't an official situation for real, his attitude seemed to indicate, so why should he be acting as if it were? Cautiously, still from only the periphery of his view, he glanced back at the blonde as if to ascertain what she might have been doing; not that it really interested him much, but...

                  To be fully honest right then, as much as he hated admitting it, the one who shared the most similar position to his own in the whole matter, was probably her.


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I'LL STICK TO X T H E X D I F F I C U L T X P A T H xxxxxxxx
n o x m a t t e r x w h a t , x w i t h o u t x e v e n x b r u s h i n g x m y x s a n d - c o v e r e d x s h o e s
xxxxxxxx I CAN'T LIVE IN ANY OTHER WAYS
Plane Between Planes's avatar

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      one more thing here~~~~
      >u>

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